MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican Grand Prix had everything: controversy, collisions, overtakes, intrigue and a very worthy world champion at the finish. ESPN looks at the main talking points from a race to remember.
Shock: It always seemed likely Hamilton would secure the title in Mexico, but nobody expected it to happen like this. The opening sequence of corners at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez lend themselves to controversy, with the long drag from the starting grid bunching up the field as it enters Turn 1. Max Verstappen judged the situation to perfection to slip past Sebastian Vettel into Turn 2, but in doing so clipped Vettel's wing. Whether that contributed to Vettel's understeer into Hamilton will be a matter for debate, but it should also be noted that Hamilton backed off the throttle on the exit of Turn 3 as went wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen, which may have contributed to Vettel misjudging the situation. The end result was a fourth world title for Hamilton, but finishing in ninth was not the way the Mercedes driver envisioned it.
Shocker: Renault's engine department had a nightmare weekend in Mexico. Over the space of three days, the French manufacturer suffered nine failures across six cars. Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso encountered issues twice in practice, Brendon Hartley had three failures (including a retirement from the race), Daniel Ricciardo lost two units (also including one in the race) and both factory drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz retired from the race with an issue as well. Mexico City is notoriously hard for power units as the turbo work harder than at any other track on the calendar to compensate for the lack of oxygen at 2,250 metres. Fortunately the Renault power unit in the back of Max Verstappen's Red Bull remained intact for all 71 laps, but it was just one of two that finished the race.
The curious link between Kvyat and Verstappen: Every time Daniil Kvyat has been demoted or dropped by the Red Bull driver programme, Max Verstappen has won the following race. It happened when Verstappen replaced Kvyat at Red Bull in Spain last year, it happened when Kvyat was dropped for Pierre Gasly in Malaysia this year and it happened again today after Kvyat was dropped from the Red Bull programme entirely ahead of the weekend. But with Kvyat's career seemingly on the ropes, Verstappen is likely to be on his own from now on.
Overachiever: After an awful weekend for Haas, Kevin Magnussen somehow managed to bring his car home in eighth position. Most of the hard work was done at the start but he managed to hold on to a points paying position on a weekend when the car was the outright slowest in qualifying.
Overtake: With just three laps remaining, Hamilton arrived on Fernando Alonso's tail fighting for position. The battle that followed was worthy of a better result than ninth as Alonso put up an impressive defence in an underpowered McLaren-Honda while Hamilton ducked and dived to try and find a way past. The move eventually came on the apex of Turn 5, but the aggression showed by Hamilton in taking the place was matched by the robust defence from Alonso. Great racing from two of the best drivers in the world.
A worthy champion: Ferrari failures may have contributed towards the ease with which Hamilton became a four-time champion, but you can't take anything away from the Mercedes driver's performance this year. Barring the incident-filled race on Sunday, Hamilton has been on a roll since the summer break and it didn't seem fitting that a ninth place finish secured his fourth title. But as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said on team radio after the race, who cares about the position in Mexico?
Driver of the day: Although the focus was on Hamilton at the end of the race, Verstappen's drive to victory deserves plenty of credit. He took his opportunity to pass at the start of the race as Vettel and Hamilton collided and then drove a faultless race from the front. He finished the race 19 seconds clear of Valtteri Bottas, underlining the strength of his performance on a weekend where Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo couldn't get close.