It was a tense rivalry and relationship last year between Lewis Hamilton and Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel, but the four-time Formula One world champion admitted that he is cool with his Mercedes counter-part this season. Sebastian gave Lewis Hamilton a solid run for his money during the 2017 Formula One championship and what started as a respectful on and off-track relationship between the two men escalated into a contentious rapport which started after the German driver’s antics in Baku.
A post-qualifying exchange in Melbourne, when Lewis Hamilton told Sebastian Vettel that his pole position was destined “to wipe the smile off his face”, hinted that perhaps last year’s bad blood had spilled over to 2018. The German driver admitted to the pair’s fall-out last year but insisted he has no current issues with Hamilton, and sees no reason why things would change: “He said he was joking and I believe him,” said Vettel, referencing Ham’s snappy post-quali reply in Australia – “I think we are old enough, I don’t think we need to go on that sort of level. It’s fine as long as we joke with each other and I think even if we are very different persons, I think we share – all of us – a common passion and that makes us quite equal again. We love racing and we try to do our best, once we’re in the car and beat all the others. I think in that regard, I don’t see why we shouldn’t get on with each other.” – the Maranello team’s driver said, as reported by the British media.
The dueling drivers’ battle will resume in Bahrain this week, where Lewis Hamilton hopes to make up for the win that was lost in Melbourne. The Mercedes driver is expecting another harsh fight however with Ferrari at a venue which could suit the Scuderia’s cars: “Their performance is better than it looked,” said Hamilton – “Ferrari are going to be quick on the straights. They are going to be rapid at the next race, they are going to be good in Bahrain. They are always good on hot circuits – even though it is a night race it is tough on the tyres.” – he concluded.