Sebastian Vettel wants strong Lewis Hamilton back to fight again

Kristopher Nichols
November 1, 2018

Lewis Hamilton keeps climbing his way up the list of Formula One's greatest drivers.

"It looks very positive".

Vettel also couldn't better his time and that opened the door for Hamilton to get ahead of the one man who can deny him the championship, with the Mercedes driver ending up 0.135s off pole.

Horner said Ricciardo's misfortune soured what was Red Bull's best race in a while, as Verstappen romped to victory.

In last year's race, Hamilton clashed with Vettel off the line, but the Mercedes driver is eyeing an aggressive start on Sunday. His 2008 championship was with McLaren.

"I was struggling in the qualifying", last year's race Verstappen said. "There's things happening on Sunday that I've got no more explanation for. I'll always be a fan of (Schumacher)".

Team boss Toto Wolff hailed Hamilton as a well-deserved champion. For the second consecutive year, he fended off a strong challenge from Ferrari in a season when even Hamilton had to admit the Italian team often had the stronger auto.

The Australian was running in second and set for a one-stop strategy which would have likely seen him hold off Sebastian Vettel for a Red Bull one-two before smoke began billowing from his vehicle with only 10 laps remaining. "We would have liked to have hung in there longer, but it was not to be". Vettel hasn't won since the Belgian Grand Prix in August.

"The FIA/Pirell won't give the teams an extra set of tyres to run in these conditions so we are forced to just sit tight and save the tyres we have in case rain comes in qualifying and the race".

Hamilton could afford to back off because all he had to do to finish no worse than seventh to win the championship.

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Hamilton's victory parade will now begin in Brazil, a week on Sunday.

"Hopefully we're in a quicker auto all day".

"I knew it was in there somewhere - I just knew the pace was in the auto - Max showed that all weekend". But sadly that couldn't transpire on Race day.

The 1-2 start will be the first for Red Bull since the start of the hybrid engine era in 2014.

Although the red and silver cars reduced the deficit in Saturday morning practice and the early stages of qualifying, Red Bull remained a class apart in the final reckoning.

Ricciardo's race ended with late engine failure, the eighth time this season his auto didn't make it to the finish. None was bigger than Vettel crashing out of the lead in a rainy German Grand Prix to let Hamilton win.

His next titles came in 2014, 2015 and 2017 in an unstoppable Mercedes, but this year's triumph will be among his most satisfying having outscored Vettel despite driving a slower auto for much of the season.

Verstappen wasn't giving any ground.

Hamilton could afford to back off and his primary goal was to avoid trouble. A bump from Vettel at the first turn punctured a tire which relegated him to ninth.

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.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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