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Jenson Button hails Lewis Hamilton's Mexico win as 'one of his best'

Jenson Button hails Lewis Hamilton's Mexico win as 'one of his best'
© Reuters
Hamilton's win in Mexico impressed his former team-mate and fellow world champion Jenson Button.

Lewis Hamilton’s drive to victory in Mexico was hailed as one of the finest of his career by former world champion Jenson Button.

Hamilton is set to win his sixth title in Texas on Sunday after he upset the form book to triumph in Mexico City.

The 34-year-old Briton only needs to finish eighth at the American venue, where he has won on five of his last seven visits, to win the championship, but he will wrap it up regardless if Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas fails to win in Austin.

A sixth title would move Hamilton above Juan Manuel Fangio and within one of Michael Schumacher’s record title haul of seven.

Hamilton started as a rank outsider for victory in Mexico, but an impressive strategy call by his Mercedes team put him in the box seat to claim his 10th win of the year and 83rd of his career.

Hamilton delivered by making his tyres last for 47 laps at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, holding off Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Bottas. Pole-sitter Charles Leclerc dropped to fourth following an ill-advised two-stop strategy by his Ferrari team.

“For me, that was one of Lewis’ best drives,” Button, Hamilton’s former team-mate at McLaren, told Sky Sports. “We know Lewis as the aggressive driver fighting for victory.

“But this was a different victory. He was really looking after the car, he looked after the tyres, he was consistent, and he got the job done.”

Hamilton, who will head to New York on Monday, completed the job without his race engineer Pete Bonnington, who was sidelined through illness. Bonnington is also set to miss Hamilton’s likely championship coronation in America, too.

Bonnington, known as ‘Bono’, has been Hamilton’s race engineer for the past seven seasons. His absence here ended a run of 136 consecutive races together.

Marcus Dudley stepped up from his role as performance engineer to fill Bonnington’s shoes.

“I came into the weekend not having Bono for the first time in seven years,” said Hamilton. “Knowing that Bono wasn’t around, I thought, jeez you could look at that as a disadvantage, but Marcus stepped into big shoes. It is not easy to work with a world champion who demands a lot.

“Bono was texting all weekend, and I really just wanted to make him proud. He has devoted so much of his life to me for the last seven years and I am sure he is happy, and I like to think I can be proud of my performance today.”

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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