Hamilton: Vettel controversy shows Ferrari feeling the pressure

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes has taken encouragement from Sebastian Vettel’s behaviour in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – because it shows that the German and Ferrari are feeling the pressure.

Hamilton: Vettel controversy shows Ferrari feeling the pressure
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H during the red flag period

Vettel was handed a 10-second stop-go penalty for acting in a potentially dangerous way in Baku last weekend, having swerved into Hamilton amid his fury about the way the Mercedes driver had slowed behind the safety car.

The incident has ramped up tensions between both drivers and their teams as the intensity of the fight for the F1 world championship has increased.

And with Hamilton having been cleared of any wrongdoing by the FIA over how he drove behind the safety car, he says he can take heart from the fact that Vettel has once again let emotions get the better of him.

When asked if he suspected that Vettel is not as mentally strong as some give him credit for, Hamilton said: “Well I think that’s been kind of obvious for some time.

“You look at last year and some of the things he’s come and said on the radio, so we know how he can be.

“I honestly would never have thought that that would have happened [in Baku] but I think we as a team can only look at that as a positive for us.

“We’ve put a lot of pressure on Ferrari, he’s under pressure and that’s not a bad thing. That shows that often pressure can get to even some of the best of us.”

Despite Vettel’s actions having marked a new stage in the fight for the F1 title, Hamilton himself says he will not change how he approaches racing the German – and he still hopes the championship can be fought out in a fair way.

“Well this [what happened in Baku], was not fair play,” he said. “It was obviously a different Sebastian from what we’ve seen in these eight races, and I like to think that I remain respectful and I will continue to do so.

“I want to do the talking on the track and I want to win this championship the right way.”

Additional reporting by Ben Anderson

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