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Lewis Hamilton expects 'all guns blazing' Vettel in 2018 Featured

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Published in Formula 1
Saturday, 30 December 2017 12:08

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton expects title rival Sebastian Vettel to return "all guns blazing" in 2018, having learned from his major errors during their 2017 championship battle.

Vettel led the points standings for 12 straight races at the start of the season, before losing out as Hamilton went on a winning surge after the August break.
Losing potential victories by deliberately driving into Hamilton in Azerbaijan and triggering a three-way collision with Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen in Singapore caused major damage to Vettel's title challenge.

The championship was finally settled in Hamilton's favour after a further collision at the start of October's Mexican Grand Prix, in which Vettel could only recover to fourth when he needed to finish inside the top two to extend the fight another race.
Hamilton says Vettel should embrace the lessons he can learn from the mistakes he made during their championship contest.

"I'm not going to tell you what I've learned but you can see it and I think you guys have learned about him," Hamilton said.

"He shouldn't shy away from that. He will learn from the experiences, as we all do.

"I have had years like that. He has had years of complete solidity like [mine] this year as well.

"I imagine next year he's going to be coming back guns blazing, but I don't feel there's anything I can't achieve if I put the work in."
Hamilton said he couldn't know whether his own performances created pressure under which Vettel cracked, but said it was always the aim to take advantage of any small weaknesses presented by his rivals.

"Pressure points, weak points - you just keep your foot down, keep the pressure on and when the other shows no sign of weakness that's definitely difficult," Hamilton added.

"Look at [tennis stars Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal, at some point in the game one will see a slight weakness in the other - even if just half a percent.

"That's what they try to capitalise on and which makes the difference, and that's really how it has been this year."

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  • Hamilton hopes Alonso is in 2018 title fight

    Lewis Hamilton hopes his former team McLaren and Fernando Alonso are contenders for the 2018 Formula 1 world championship after their switch from Honda to Renault power.

    Hamilton's junior career was supported by McLaren, and he drove for the team in F1 from 2007-2012 before leaving for Mercedes.
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    Though McLaren is now led by Zak Brown following major management changes ahead of the 2017 season, Hamilton said he will always associate the team with former boss Ron Dennis.

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  • Lewis Hamilton crashes out of Brazil qualifying, Valtteri Bottas takes pole

    World champion Lewis Hamilton will start last at the Brazilian Grand Prix after crashing out in Q1, with Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas taking pole position.

    The Brit, who secured his fourth title in Mexico last month, lost control of his rear mid-corner on his first flying lap, sending him careering sideways into a barrier.
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  • Singapore Grand Prix: Hamilton victorious in chaotic night race

    Lewis Hamilton took advantage of first-lap chaos to take the chequered flag in the Singapore night race.

    WHERE THE RACE WAS WON

    Absolute carnage at the start. Kimi Raikkonen on the second row got away brilliantly on the inside, Max Verstappen in P2 kept his line - and pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel moved across, catching the Red Bull in a Ferrari pincer movement and then sending the Finn and the German flying off the track and out of the race.

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    Five stars out of five. Well, it was clear that Lewis Hamilton needed some kind of magic to benefit from this race - and that first-lap chaos was just what he needed. He was far enough back to keep clear of the mess, and promptly snaffled the race lead, holding position under the three safety-car spells. He didn't much like his team telling him to keep the pace down in the last 20 minutes, and got them to agree to him taking the initiative on that one. That meant he kept a good three seconds ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, left behind in second place, and set a new record in his penultimate lap of the day - ultimately triumphing to go 28 points clear at the top of the championship.

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    UNSUNG HERO

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    Daniil Kvyat taking himself into the barriers after a lock-up and launching the second safety car spell was quite spectacular. He was under no pressure whatsoever.

    STAR-SPOTTING

    Singaporean actor JJ Lin was in the Mercedes garage - and Eddie Jordan did the podium interviews.

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