LEWIS Hamilton has won his fifth F1 World Championship, making him the joint second most successful driver of all time.
The 33 year-old becomes only the third man in history to win five world titles and draws level with Argentinian legend Juan Manuel Fangio.
Only the peerless Michael Schumacher stands ahead of him with seven titles, and that total will be the Briton’s next target.
Hamilton needed only to finish seventh at Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix to become champion, even if Sebastian Vettel had won.
However, the German Ferrari driver could only manage second place behind the dominant Max Verstappen, despite a strong and determined race.
Hamilton battled tyre problems throughout a difficult race, but his finishing position of fourth was more than enough to reach his memorable milestone.
At the end of the race, Hamilton celebrated in the traditional way with a series of “doughnut” spins in the track’s stadium section before waving to the capacity 135,000 crowd.
“To complete this, when Fangio has done it with Mercedes, it is an incredible moment,” Hamilton said.
“It was a horrible race, I was just trying to bring the car home.”
Vettel broke off from his post-race interview to congratulate his rival, as the two men showed their respect for each other after another intense battle.
Vettel said: “They did a superb job all year – we need to stand there and accept that.”