Friday, 16 November, 2018

Hamilton stages dramatic comeback but Vettel wins

Ferrari Ferrari
Frederick Owens | 12 October, 2018, 20:17

Ferrari's Vettel is being roundly criticised for mistakes that, despite earlier having the better vehicle, have dropped him far behind championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

The German collided with Max Verstappen in Suzuka on Sunday and was blamed for taking unnecessary risks.

Hamilton came out on top of wheel-to-wheel battles with Vettel in two of the last four grands prix, in Italy and Russian Federation, which were crucial moments that led to his eventual victories in both races.

Hamilton, who in Japan on Sunday took his ninth win this year and his sixth in seven races, will clinch the title at the US Grand Prix if he wins on 21 October and Vettel is lower than second.

He wrote: "I feel the media need to show a little more respect for Sebastian. It is to be expected that being humans we will make mistakes but it is how we come through them that counts".

Ferrari travelled to Suzuka last weekend knowing Vettel needed to make serious headway if he is to catch title rival Lewis Hamilton.

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But victories for Hamilton in back-to-back grands prix in Italy and Singapore - a combination of sublime driving and Ferrari errors - helped the Briton take a firm grip on a fifth world title. 'It has been an incredible year, but never in a million years did I think I would get to 80, ' said Hamilton, now 12 poles ahead of any other driver in the sport's history. Vettel's ensuing mistake also supports one paddock theory that his error-prone campaign has been sparked by trying to manage his hapless Italian team from inside the Ferrari cockpit.

"The rear of the vehicle was moving around a lot, particularly with the left-handers and obviously I had been hit on the right". You don't have to win every race to be world champion, you have to keep scoring.

"Honestly, I thought that was how it was going to be, being as they were so strong in the previous two races".

"At the last couple of races we made it a bit too easy for them but also credit to them as they executed well, which is the name of the game". He was in the lead by what would be today 45 points with two races to go. "I'm very, very strict on not being complacent", he said.

"Vettel is not winning the championship, he's winning races and it doesn't work like that", said Briatore in a podcast interview with former world champion Nico Rosberg. "Those are the races that I love, and I would welcome them more and more, but unfortunately it just isn't the case. Austin is usually a good track for us, so I can't wait to unleash this beast there".

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