Latest updates as Lewis Hamilton goes for fifth title

Kimi Raikkonen was third-fastest in the second Ferrari ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes with Daniel Ricciardo fifth for Red Bull.

The deserved victory was the 39-year-old Finn's first since the Australian Grand Prix of March 2013, a gap of 113 races dating back to when he was racing for Lotus, and 21st of his career. No mistakes. He had a great start and managed it all the way.

"Beautiful work", Mercedes told Hamilton, who will have Raikkonen alongside him at the start.

Despite the impressive feat, Raikkonen - who took a big swig of champagne before spraying it on the podium - typically downplayed the result. I slowed down, and they found that it took me too long. "It doesn't change my life", Raikkonen said. "Ferrari picked up their game, and we need to push hard at the next race".

Hamilton added: "There's so many different variables, you are really just on your tippy toes the whole way, trying to catch it and grab it - utilise grip. But obviously I'm happy, just proving some people wrong is enough fun for me".

Force India's Esteban Ocon will start sixth, with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg seventh and Romain Grosjean in eighth place for Haas, Formula One's only United States team.

Raikkonen, who turned 39 last Wednesday, becomes the sport's eldest victor since Nigel Mansell in 1994.

But the Finn, who is heading to Sauber for the next two seasons, isn't anxious about age. I think it was quite tricky to get everything together. And being a great champion is more than just winning races. "For sure we'll have fun tonight and then we go next week for the next one".

Although video footage showed the Ferrari driver had backed off considerably through the esses approaching that part of the track, the stewards deemed he was still travelling too quickly.

For the always outspoken Villeneuve, Hamilton stands a good chance of catching and overhauling Schumacher in the coming years.

Hamilton will win his fifth title if he scores nine points in the race.

"I was pretty happy with the laps I had. Today has been surprisingly close, I don't think we expected it to be that close", commented Vettel, who vented his frustration over the team radio after crossing the line.

"The only thing that I was interested in was to know what was going to happen".

The championship leader trimmed his time while, behind him, Max Verstappen's session was ended when his right rear suspension appeared to fail after he ran across the "sausage" kerbs at Turn 17.

  • Angelo Rivera