Lewis Hamilton has come to the defense of his arch-rival Sebastian Vettel, saying he deserves “more respect” instead of the criticism he has received for his F1 Championship challenge in the last one month.
Hamilton’s win in the Suzuka Circuit at the Japanese Grand Prix put him 67 points ahead of Vettel who finished sixth on the day.
Critics faulted Vettel’s performance on the day, saying he had ‘giftwrapped’ the title for Hamilton.
But Mercedes’ Hamilton wrote on Instagram: ‘I feel the media need to show a little more respect for Sebastian.
‘You simply cannot imagine how hard it is to do what we do at our level … It is to be expected that being humans we will make mistakes but it is how we come through them that counts.’
While the gap between Hamilton and Vettel was as close as 17 points at the Belgian Grand Prix in August, Hamilton’s hot streak, coupled with a disappointing set of results for his Ferrari rival, meaning the Briton can wrap up his fifth championship title in Austin, in two weeks’ time.
Victory for Hamilton in the US would mean Vettel would have to finish second to keep the title race alive.
The French Grand Prix in June marked the beginning of Vettel’s woe after a season that started out well, where he lost his lead at the top of the standings because he clipped Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
Vettel crashed out in Germany while leading the race, thus handing the victory to Hamilton.
Then in Italy, the pair collided on the first lap as Hamilton passed the Ferrari, forcing Vettel to work his way through the field to finish fourth.
Despite Hamilton’s defense of Vettel, both haven’t always been chums
Last while competing for the F1 title, Hamilton and Vettel collided at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, an incident Hamilton labeled ‘disgusting and disgraceful’. He however still went on to win his fourth F1 title.