Lewis Hamilton wins 2017 F1 championship

Pop the champagne, lads.
Pop the champagne, lads.

LEWIS Hamilton has taken home his fourth F1 world championship in a weird, wonderful and wacky finish to the 2017 title race.

Max Verstappen raced out of his skin to take the win after a chaotic start saw Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton collide.

Daniel Ricciardo had another horror show early in the piece and retired before the 10th lap with a turbo issue. It is now the second race in the row the Aussie has failed to finish a race after last week's US Grand Prix disaster.

The 20-year-old Verstappen raced out of his skin to deny Hamilton a fairytale finish to his 2017 title race.

Hamilton finished ninth after being set back early due to a puncture sustained in a scuffle with Sebastian Vettel in the first lap.

Vettel needed to finish second or higher to keep himself in the title race.

"I did everything that I could. I had a good start. I don't really know what happened at Turn Three - I gave him plenty of room," Hamilton said.

"I tried as hard as I could to come back. A big thank you to my family and my team. Mercedes have been incredible for the past five years and I'm so proud to be a part of it.

"It doesn't feel real. That's not the kind of race that you want but I never gave up. I kept going right to the end."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted the race was incredibly stressful as the team scurried to calculate what position the drivers would need to finish to see the championship in Hamilton's hands by the end of the day.

"I hated every bit of that race," Wolff said. "It was really bad and too long.

"I think we were rattled after the beginning, the crash.

"In the car you don't know what's happening, is Sebastian still in the race? Can he score points? After a while we explained the situation to him and we were all focused on making the best out of it."

Hamilton became the first driver since James Hunt in 1976 to win a world championship in the same race as being lapped.

"An unusual way to be world champion but you are world champion, very simple. Nobody cares how you do it," F1 legend niki Lauda told Sky Sports.

"What I don't understand is the aggressive manoeuvre from Vettel in the first corners. It hit Lewis hard and it was not his fault at own and his drama started. In the end it worked out. Fantastic."

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