x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Lewis Hamilton “clarifies” stance on Vettel’s dominance

The British driver said he wanted to clarify comments from Sunday, when he said "I feel for the fans" and suggested Sebastien Vettel's run of dominance was getting boring.

Lewis Hamilton, left, is fourth in the Divers' Championship standings with 161 points, 111 points behind leader Sebastien Vettel, right. Srdjan Suki / EPA
Lewis Hamilton, left, is fourth in the Divers' Championship standings with 161 points, 111 points behind leader Sebastien Vettel, right. Srdjan Suki / EPA

TOKYO // Britain’s Lewis Hamilton Tuesday rowed back on his suggestion that Sebastien Vettel’s Formula One dominance was a turn-off for fans, hailing the German as a “true champion”.

Hamilton said he wanted to “clarify” his comments from Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix, and sent a series of laudatory tweets about the soon-to-be four-time world title-winner.

“Read some of the stories/reports of my comments on Seb. Feel the need to clarify my thoughts. Seb is great champion!!” tweeted Hamilton.

“Not only that, he is a great human being who is funny and humble. Deserves all the success he is having!” he added.

“I admire his dedication & ability to consistently perform without mistakes. This is the mark of a true champion.

“Regardless of what you & I may think about his car, at the end of the day he’s doing the perfect job.”

In Korea, Hamilton said Vettel’s hold on the sport reminded him of the days of Michael Schumacher, who won seven world titles.

“I feel for the fans because I remember the period of time when Michael Schumacher was winning,” the 2008 world champion was quoted as saying.

“I remember waking up in the morning to watch the start of the race and then going to sleep, and then waking up when it ended because I already knew what would happen. I am pretty sure a lot of people were doing that, at least in my family.”

Vettel has won the last four races -- and eight out of 14 this season -- to put one hand on his fourth successive world title, which he can claim at Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

His remarkable winning streak has not been to everyone’s liking, with the 26-year-old booed repeatedly on the podiums by disgruntled spectators.