Hamilton has now pulled level with Argentine driver Juan Manuel Fangio with the fifth F1 title win of his career. "Everything feels hopeless. You know, honestly, now where I am, I don't see the point of coming on Sunday, I don't see the point of doing the next two races".
"I held a lot in, I've got to save some energy for tomorrow".
"I've gotta relax a little".
Hamilton slotted in behind the Dutchman, with pole-sitter Ricciardo dropping to third.
Hamilton secured his fifth career championship with a fourth-place finish. After matching Michael Schumacher's Monza record, much to the distress of Ferrari's legion of fans, Hamilton moved 30 points clear of Vettel.
He had been wary of a repeat of last year's collision with the Ferrari driver.
The Ferrari man must win to have any hope of extending the title race to Brazil, but he, like Hamilton, might prefer to see what damage Verstappen and Ricciardo can do to one another. In my mind it is just another day of fighting and I have more races to win, it is not over.
The 1-2 start will be the first for Red Bull since the start of the hybrid engine era in 2014. In the second and third sectors he just nailed it.
"It's a very odd feeling right now", Hamilton said as he got out of his vehicle and celebrated. "I mean, that's what we're here to do, is to race". "I didn't feel good at all".
Hamilton's title triumph was watched by a sell-out 135,000 crowd at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with the Mexican race proving a runaway hit since it returned to the calendar in 2015. Verstappen is the defending race champion and dominated the three rounds of practice. Verstappen was still on the track but his final lap was too slow.
"Those guys (Red Bull) are in a league of their own", he said.
A white wisp of smoke expunged from the exhaust of his Renault-powered Red Bull.
But the 21-year-old endured no such problem in the closing laps of a race he led for the most part, having built up a cushion of nearly 15 seconds over Vettel.
With this in mind Force India sent both drivers out on the ultrasoft tyre, not to qualify for Q3 but to ensure Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez would qualifying just outside the top 10 and have free tyre choice for the race.
"I don't think "frustration" is the word anymore", Ricciardo said.
Ricciardo had to retire in lap 62 after smoke was seen coming from the back of his vehicle - his eighth retirement for the season.
Team principal Christian Horner wants to keep it clean.
"He had a bad start, but that was nothing technical, just procedure", said Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko.
Hamilton was unhappy on the supersoft tyres after pitting on lap 12, while Vettel flourished. I'm not superstitious or any of this bull--, but the car's cursed. But it was a run of wins over the second half of the season that sent Hamilton to Mexico City all but assured of the championship.
"You reflect not on one moment but the whole year: the work that goes in, the effort that goes in from the end of the last year until now and yeah, I think we had our chances". "Everyone's going to be barrelling into Turn One to gain, so it's a very, very fine line", the Briton told reporters after qualifying. If there's an opening and an opportunity to take it, I'll take it.