Media playback is not supported on this device Hamilton equals Schumacher’s seven world titles
F1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton said winning his seventh Formula 1 title was “one of the best moments of my life” as he equalled Michael Schumacher’s record with a dramatic victory in Mexico.
Hamilton led Nico Rosberg into the first corner and held off the German’s charge to win by a single point from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
It means the Mercedes driver has moved from fourth to the top of the world title standings with five races left.
Hamilton was emotional as he celebrated his incredible achievement in front of the Ferrari fans in Mexico City.
He said: “It’s one of the best moments of my life. I just want to say a big thank you to all my team.
“This win is special because of so many people’s struggles and frustrations over the years.
“I just want to thank everyone in this team from my engineers and mechanics, to my drivers’ coach, who has been there with me since day one.
“Also my dad, who was supporting me from the beginning.”
Hamilton, who is now ahead of Schumacher in the all-time list of winners, told BBC Sport: “The team was incredible and I think we all fought really hard.
“You don’t get many days like this, a moment like this.”
He added that the championship now looked like being “very competitive” and that “nobody should expect a coronation”.
And he said the chance to break Schumacher’s record was “exciting”.
And he said that the importance of winning seven world titles – as opposed to only one as with Schumacher – would give him added motivation now.
Hamilton won six races in 2014 to claim his sixth title
‘Three heads were winning’
Rosberg said the titles were very “easy” to celebrate as he played down any personal embarrassment about losing the title to Hamilton.
Asked about that record, he said: “It is so easy because there was a podium finish. Three heads were winning it. It was so easy.
“It is a shame Lewis is not able to join me in seven world titles. But he has a fantastic championship so far and you can only be happy with your results.
“I really was expecting to win. I thought in Melbourne we would be quicker than Lewis but for whatever reason he had a bit better pace that weekend. It is what it is.
“It was tough for me, but I am happy for him.”
Lewye said he had not considered retiring until F1 told him the end was close
‘Not a total meltdown’
Hamilton’s wife Nicole was on the radio with her husband and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff during the race, telling him that they would marry at some point in the future.
Hamilton said the wedding had not yet been arranged, saying: “I didn’t actually know that until two days ago. She didn’t really tell me.
“I didn’t even know it was part of the plan. We’re going to have to come up with a new one soon. We’ve got to plan a party for two.”
Hamilton’s father Anthony was thrilled with his son’s achievement
Hamilton’s father Anthony said the title was “a dream come true”.
Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: “There was always a feeling the one world championship I would win would be the one that allowed Lewis to have that fifth title.
“I just hope that one day we can come back and look back at the year Lewis had – the last five months in particular.
“It has not been easy with Lewis. It has been more of a struggle than it is even easy to imagine, but it has been brilliant watching him fight so hard.
“What is most unbelievable is to get three championships from within five years. What I told Lewis is not a total meltdown.
“It’s one championship out of seven. The good thing about driving for Mercedes is that it is a combination of four fantastic drivers.
“My job is to make Lewis feel comfortable and confident – I couldn’t do it without them.”