Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel said that Lewis Hamilton has done a “superb job” in Formula One this season and is fully deserving of the 2017 championship. The German driver led the standings through to the Italian Grand Prix, having won four races over the opening half of the campaign, but his title challenge unravelled amid a spate of incidents and reliability issues. Sebastian Vettel entered the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix with a 66-point deficit to Lewis Hamilton and needed to secure a top-two finish, with the Mercedes driver enduring a difficult race, in order to keep his hopes alive.
Both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton were compromised on the first lap when the pair made contact, with Senastian Vettel sustaining front-wing damage and Lewis Hamilton receiving a rear-right puncture. Both pitted, effectively ending Sebastian Vettel’s title chances, though he recovered to fourth position, after running an aggressive two-stop strategy, while Lewis Hamilton came home ninth:
“It was disappointing” – said Vettel on his chaotic opening in Mexico – “But it is not that important what we have done today, it’s more important what Lewis has done.” – the four-time Formula One world champion explained at the end of the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix, as reported by the Italian media.
“He has done a superb job all year round and deserves to win title, so congratulations to him. “It’s not about anybody else, it’s about him, it’s his day. I like racing with him, I would have liked a little bit more of that this year, but overall they were just the better bunch.” – Scuderia Ferrari’s German driver added. When asked to comment on whether he had any regrets over how the year had panned out, Sebastian Vettel replied: “What does it matter now? “He’s on a par [with me] if you can count. I don’t fear him, I like racing with him but I would have liked a little bit more of that this year. Overall they were just the better bunch.”
Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton embraced in the post-race press pen, with the Ferrari driver congratulating his Mercedes rival on securing the 2017 Formula One title.