Lewis backs ‘F1 great’ Vettel to rebound from slump
Lewis Hamilton has no doubts Sebastian Vettel will recover from his recent run of high-profile mistakes.
This weekend Vettel returns to the Hockenheim circuit for the German Grand Prix, where he infamously crashed out of the lead in the closing stages of last year’s race. Hamilton won that dramatic race to claim a lead in the championship he never relinquished from that point on the way to a fifth career title.
For Vettel, it marked the start of an error-strewn run which not only cost him a shot at last year’s championship but has spilled over into this year — his most recent came at the British Grand Prix, when he ploughed into the back of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
While Hamilton appears to be waltzing to a sixth title, Vettel has dropped to fourth in the championship.
When asked if he missed fighting Vettel for the title, he said: “I’m not one for missing many things. I miss my dogs, I miss family, but I don’t miss certain action things.
“But of course I love the racing. I do love the racing element, I loved competing against Ferrari last year. I wish the battle [at Silverstone] was with the Ferraris.
“It’s different when you’re racing within a team and I’ve always told you, I much, much prefer it when you’re racing with the Red Bull and the Ferraris. But currently that’s not how it is.
“But I absolutely believe he’ll rebound. You look at the greats, playing tennis, and he is one of those. He’s had a difficult race, but he’s a four-time world champion.
“He will recover. He will redeem himself if he feels he needs to, and he will come back stronger the next race. That’s what great athletes do.”
It’s nearly been a full 12 months since Vettel last won a race. His victory at the Belgian Grand Prix on August 26 remains the last time he stood on the top step of the podium. The four-time world champion felt he had been robbed of victory at the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this year after being given a time penalty for a controversial incident with Hamilton, stemming from another mistake made on track.