Mercedes will have earned F1 title: Hamilton

Vastavam web: Lewis Hamilton said Thursday that another Formula One championship would be one earned by him and Mercedes not one thrown away by Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel won the first two races of 2018 to set up what promised to be a dramatic chase for a fifth career championship between him and Hamilton. Now Hamilton’s dominant second half of the season, helped by a rash of mistakes by Vettel and Ferrari, has the Mercedes driver set to win the crown even if he finishes as low as seventh Sunday.

“For the words to come from a four-time world champion, that’s positive to hear,” Hamilton said in advance of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix. “He’s been a great competitor this year. It’s been so hot for both of us. I look forward to many more years of us racing together right at the top.” Ferrari’s blunders certainly made Hamilton’s season easier. There have been crashes, pit stop and tire mistakes, and practice penalties that cost Ferrari wins and race position.

Vettel’s last victory came in Belgium six races ago and he’s missed the podium three times in the last five. The U.S. Grand Prix included Vettel’s three-spot starting grid penalty and an early-lap bump with Red Bull’s Daniel Riccardo that caused him to spin. Other drivers on the grid were reluctant to criticize Vettel’s season, but noted the German might have driven too hard out of desperation.. “I think Sebastian is a fantastic driver. It’s very hard to judge the performance of someone when you’re not on the team and you don’t know exactly what is going on,” said Force India’s Sergio Perez.

“Obviously we have seen some mistakes. Probably at the end he was just desperate, trying to achieve what was probably not possible, but he’s a four-time world champion.” Raikkonen, who has only three races left with Ferrari before he switches to Sauber in 2019, tread lightly.