Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Vettel: I didn’t want to be a complete arse

2018 Russian GP Bottas doesn't want favor returned by Mercedes
Jennie Wade | 05 October, 2018, 16:13

Hamilton, whose lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the standings is now 50 points heading into the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend, said he was "the most conflicted I have ever been" after taking the chequered flag in Sochi in such a manner.

As on previous occasions, Russian leader Putin was on hand to present Hamilton with this trophy on Sunday, and the pair were overheard sharing a joke about Hamilton's exuberant celebrations from back in 2015, when he appeared. Yes, it's not getting bigger ... if you finish behind, but who knows?

The Finn and 2007 world champion is keeping his F1 career alive at Sauber for the next two years, but Hamilton thinks Ferrari is making a mistake in letting him go.

Vettel ignored the Russian President.

Mercedes's manipulation was controversial but Bottas, who is out of the championship fight with five races remaining, said: 'I am prepared to play for the team. After speaking with team principal Toto Wolff about the team order, Bottas says he understands why his role is different while he isn't in title contention but doesn't want a win handed to him in return. Hamilton ended up being brought in at the end of the 14th lap, which meant that Vettel got the jump on him.

And if they hadn't take that decision, (team boss Toto Wolff) said, we wouldn't have been been able to live with ourselves. "[We must] make sure that from where we are now we focus on winning the last races". To be the baddie on Sunday evening for many right reasons or do I want to be the idiot in Abu Dhabi at the end of the season?

Hamilton has now won eight times this season, and five of the last six, while Vettel - on five wins - opened the campaign strongly but has faded due in part to errors made by himself and the team. Hard day for you and hard day for us.

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Red Bull's Max Verstappen was leading, but had yet to pit, with Bottas second and Hamilton third with a blistered rear tyre after overtaking Vettel.

Hamilton was slow out of his starting marks but managed to keep Vettel at bay despite the Ferrari driver drawing alongside his rival at 200 miles per hour.

A DNF for Hamilton in a race that Sebastian Vettel wins and the gap goes down to 25.

"It all panned out differently to what we expected and discussed", said Wolff.

Hamilton then reported hesitations in his engine, and his blister - both ailments clearly hampered his raw pace and forced him to manage his vehicle as he chased Verstappen.

But the Briton, biding his time, clocked a fastest lap to move within two seconds before a half-hearted attack was repelled and he held on for victory.

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