Lewis Hamilton has cut Nico Rosberg’s championship lead to 19 points with his second crucial win in eight days at the Mexican Grand Prix.
On a day Rosberg could have become champion had his team-mate retired, Hamilton ensured the title battle goes on to the penultimate race in Brazil with his 51st career win – drawing him level with Alain Prost for second place in F1’s record books.
Hamilton’s only scare came at the race’s first corner when he ran wide over the grass after outbraking himself. “I led from grass to finish,” Hamilton joked afterwards after winning by eight seconds.
Rosberg was second after overcoming two separate tussles with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to keep the title race in his hands.
The German will clinch his maiden world crown if he wins the Brazilian GP on November 13.
Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth but was promoted to third several hours after the race had concluded after penalties for first Max Verstappen, the original podium finisher, and then Sebastian Vettel.
Verstappen had taken third on the road but stewards imposed a five-second time penalty while he was waiting to take to the podium after an extraordinary sequence of events in the race’s closing laps involving the Dutchman, Vettel and Ricciardo.