MEXICO CITY: Britain’s Lewis Hamilton secured his fourth world title at the Mexican Grand Prix despite finishing only ninth after a clash with rival Sebastian Vettel.

He is thus┬áthe most successful British Formula 1 driver in history, moving one championship clear of Sir Jackie Stewart. He joins Vettel and Frenchman Alain Prost on four world titles, behind only Michael Schumacher, the all-time record holder on seven, and Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio’s five.

Hamilton put his hands to his helmet as he crossed the line, slowing the car down to a crawl as he sought to take in his achievement on the slowing down lap. Vettel pulled alongside him and applauded.

German’s Ferrari on the first lap, the incident also breaking Vettel’s front wing.

Vettel made better progress back through the field than Hamilton, climbing up to fourth place, but he needed to finish second to keep the championship alive.

The race was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who dominated from the front after taking the lead at the first corner, a move that led to the collision between Hamilton and Vettel.