Lewis Hamilton has become the first British driver to win back-to-back F1 world titles after winning the US Grand Prix in Texas.
Retaining the crown sees the Mercedes driver equal Jackie Stewart’s British record of three world championship titles.
Until now, despite a Briton winning the drivers’ championship on 15 occasions, a British driver had not won the title on consecutive years.
The win moves Hamilton joint fifth on the all-time championship list alongside revered names of the sport such as Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet.
However, the 30-year-old still has a long way to go to catch F1’s most successful driver, Michael Schumacher who won seven world championships during his record-breaking career.
Hamilton’s German teammate Nico Rosberg, who started on pole, had appeared on course to delay his title celebrations for one more race, but a costly late mistake while in the lead saw him finish in second place.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took third place after fighting his way back from 13th.
Celebrating his win, Hamilton threw his trophy in the air and caught it again.
He was congratulated on the podium by singer Sir Elton John who said: “What a race!”
Hamilton said: “I can’t believe you’re here!”
Thanking the crowd for enduring the rain to watch the race, he said: “I think we put a good show on for you today.”
He also paid tribute to his crew and his family saying: “I love you all.”
Boxer Amir Khan tweeted: “A big well done to @LewisHamilton on winning today and becoming world champion.”
Former world champion Mario Andretti posted: “Congrats Lewis @LewisHamilton well deserved race win and 3rd #F1world Title!! You definitely rock!”