Lewis Hamilton joins Juan Manuel Fangio with ‘surreal’ fifth world title

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is congratulated by a member of his crew after becoming the Formula One champion during the Mexico Grand Prix. (AP)
Updated 29 October 2018

Lewis Hamilton joins Juan Manuel Fangio with ‘surreal’ fifth world title

MEXICO CITY: Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth drivers’ world championship on Sunday to draw level with Juan Manuel Fangio in the Formula One record books when he finished fourth behind a victorious Max Verstappen in the Mexican Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s success – the third time he has taken the title without finishing on the race podium – elevated him to a supreme club alongside Fangio with only seven-time champion Michael Schumacher ahead of him.
He was adding the 2018 crown to his championship wins in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
The 33-year-old Briton’s only remaining championship rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who needed a victory, with Hamilton outside the top seven, to keep his hopes alive, finished second.
He celebrated by executing ‘doughnut’ wheel spins for the cheering crowd before leaping out of his car and into the arms of his team.
After being congratulated by Vettel, Hamilton said: “It’s a very strange feeling right now.”
After surviving what turned into a battle of attrition at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez he added: “It was a horrible race… I really don’t know what happened.
“We were struggling both Valtteri (Bottas) and I and we had to just hang on and bring the car home.
“I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13 and to complete this, when Fangio had done it with Mercedes, is an incredible feeling and it is very surreal to me at the moment.
“I just feel very very humble, of course I dreamed about this but I never thought I’d be standing here as a five-time champion.”
Four-time champion Vettel heaped praise on his rival.
“It is not easy today but well deserved for him and I want to congratulate Lewis. They did a superb job all year. We need to stand there, accept that and send congratulations. We would have liked to have hung in there longer, but it was not to be.”
Hamilton, who started third on the grid, struggled with chronic tyre-wear after making a strong start in his Mercedes and settled for a cautious cruise to the title without a podium finish.
Verstappen, upstaged by his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in qualifying on Saturday, came home 17.108 seconds ahead of Vettel after the luckless Australian pole-sitter retired with nine laps remaining.
“I didn’t sleep very well last night,” said Verstappen.
“I was very determined to win and we’ve done that – we had the right tires and the car was working very well…
“It was a shame to lose Daniel. We wanted two of us on the podium. A party tonight? No, I’m going home!“
A puff of smoke signalled an engine failure and his eighth ‘Did Not Finish’ (DNF) of the season while his 21-year-old Dutch tyro team-mate secured a repeat of his 2017 triumph, his second win this season and the fifth of his career.
Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen came home third ahead of Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Renault ahead of Charles Leclerc of Sauber, Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren, Marcus Ericsson in the second Sauber and Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso.
For Ferrari, it was a first double podium success in Mexico since 1990 with Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell.


Saudi esports world cup winner a ‘class’ role model for young players: Gaming chief

Updated 15 November 2019

Saudi esports world cup winner a ‘class’ role model for young players: Gaming chief

  • Prince Faisal said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup winner Mosaad Al-Dossary was the kind of role model young players should be looking to emulate, according to the Kingdom’s esports gaming chief.

President of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronics and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, told Arab News he was “proud” of Al-Dossary for his esports achievements and for showing “his class as a human being.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum, in Riyadh, the prince said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.

Equating esports to traditional sports, he stressed it was important that young people moderated their time playing video competitions. 

“Moderation in everything,” he quoted his father as telling him.

“Everything has its positives, within reason. I don’t expect our professional (esports) players to be playing for 18 hours a day. What we advocate is having good mental health, social health as well as good physical health.”

Prince Faisal said it was important that youth chose their heroes carefully, and Al-Dossary was an example of the perfect role model. 

“I’m proud of him for all of his many accomplishments in gaming, but I’m prouder of who he is as a person.”

He noted that during Al-Dossary’s winning participation in the Manchester FUT Champions Cup, in the UK, one of the tournament’s young competitors had fallen ill and was taken to hospital. Al-Dossary had ducked out of victory celebrations to go and visit his sick opponent, taking with him the green scarf awarded to world cup qualifiers which he left on the young man’s bedside table as a gift.

“I’m prouder of him for doing that, brightening up his opponent’s day, than I am of him winning the world cup,” the prince said. 

“He showed his class as a human being, not as an esports player. And that’s what we expect of all of our athletes and all of our young kids across all industries and sports.

“That’s the caliber of person that we have in Saudi, in our communities and that’s what I want to showcase to the world.”

Prince Faisal admitted that online harassment could be a problem, but said it was a global issue that could only be solved through education.

“There are errors, and esports and gaming is a new era, and it’s a new era of accessibility. Along with that comes a learning curve and an education curve,”he added.