Mercedes driver Hamilton started sixth needed to avoid surrendering eight points to Valtteri Bottas in order to wrap up the title after lapping the Finn, who spun on the first corner and could only finish 14th.
Hamilton now sits level with Michael Schumacher for the most championship successes and surpassed the Ferrari great’s record for most wins with a single team by topping the podium with Mercedes for a 73rd time.
Racing Point’s decision to pit pole-sitter Lance Stroll for fresh intermediate tyres on a drying track proved costly and they had to settle for a podium via Sergio Perez, who was second ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 15, 2020
The drivers complained about a lack of grip on the newly-laid track following rainfall during qualifying and they found themselves starting in similar conditions on Sunday.
Bottas needed a good drive to keep the title race alive but his chances took a significant hit when he went off at turn one and Hamilton managed to get up to third.
Hamilton’s Mercedes struggled on the wet tyres, though, and a lock-up into turn 10 saw him let Vettel, Max Verstappen and Alex Albon through and slip to sixth by the end of a thrilling opening lap.
The Briton botched an attempt to overtake Vettel for fourth at turn 11 on lap 16 and let Albon through, and the Red Bull driver quickly got past the Ferrari too.
Albon was soon behind the Racing Point duo after Verstappen’s attempt to get past Perez at turn 11 resulted in him spinning out, getting a flat spot on his tyres and having to pit for fresh ones.
Vettel began to find more pace towards the midway point but his slow pit stop and Albon losing control at turn four enabled Hamilton to get up to third.
Stroll was given a set new set of intermediates on lap 37 despite initially protesting and it proved to be the wrong decision with the track continuing to dry.
Hamilton and Perez stayed out and the Mercedes driver used DRS to overtake the Racing Point into turn 11 and his tyres held out by effectively deteriorating into slicks.
Mercedes wanted to pit Hamilton with two laps remaining amid the threat of rain but he opted to stay out and was able to wrap yet another title by winning a breathtaking race.
Get breaking news alerts.
You have already subscribed