Formula One race driver Sebastian Vettel

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Lewis Hamilton bagged his fourth Formula One (F1) world championship in Mexico two weeks ago despite a highly controversial collision with bitter rival Sebastian Vettel on turn three of the opening lap of that race.

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Hamilton, who ended up securing the title with a fighting ninth-place finish in Mexico described it as a ‘horrible way’ to clinch it and would far rather have done it in style by climbing back onto the top step of the podium.

Although the British driver has little to prove, don’t for a second even entertain the thought that the fiercely competitive Mercedes ace will hold back and slip into conservative mode in the knowledge he has already sewn up another World Championship with two rounds to go.

He has already equalled Ferrari rival Vettel’s four world titles and has the added incentive of pulling off back to back victories in Brazil.

The carrot dangling in front of him is even harder to resist knowing full well that Vettel is the only driver currently racing to have won more than once at Interlagos.

The Mercedes team have already wrapped up another Constructors title and are probably already looking ahead to next season, but their ‘every time we race, we race to win’ mindset, clearly spells out their intent.

Max Verstappen, at just 20 years old, is the future of the sport and reliability issues aside, Red Bull will be hoping to build on the Dutchman’s victory in Mexico and threaten Mercedes and Ferrari’s ongoing dominance.

Hamilton’s teammate Valteri Bottas also made encouraging strides with a podium finish in Mexico, Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen is always in the mix, while another young gun Esteban Ocon (Force India) is a man to watch.

Quick Facts (Lewis Hamilton):

Hamilton has surpassed Sir Jackie Stewart by becoming the first British driver to win more than three championships.

He joined Vettel and Alain Prost on four titles, one more than Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna. Only Michael Schumacher (7) and Juan Fangio (5) have more wins.

Hamilton (72) is the outright holder of the most pole positions ever recorded by a driver.

F1 Drivers Championship (Top 10):

Hamilton (Merc) 333, Vettel (Ferr) 277, Bottas (Merc) 282, Daniel Ricciardo (RBull) 192. Raikkonen (Ferr) 178, Verstappen (RBull) 148, Sergio Perez (F India) 92, Esteben Ocon (F India) 83, Carlos Sainz (Renault) 54, Lance Stroll (Williams) 40.

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By Trevor Cramer