Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Singapore, 2017

Hamilton feared Vettel was going to spin into him

2017 Singapore Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton revealed he was worried Sebastian Vettel was going to hit him when the Ferrari driver spun out of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Vettel spun out of the race in front of Hamilton on lap one. “It happened right in front of me,” Hamilton described afterwards. “I was hoping he wouldn’t collect me and obviously he didn’t.”

Singapore, 2017
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“And then I was like ‘OK, race is on, I’m in the lead, I like this position’.”

Vettel was one of three drivers who started in front of Hamilton and crashed out, allowing the Mercedes driver to jump up from fifth to first at the start.

!I was really focused on Daniel [Ricciardo],” said Hamilton. “I noticed he got a slightly better initial start and I got a better second phase of the start.”

“I saw Kimi [Raikkonen] got a lightning start. And I saw some commotion going on but I was just focused on trying to get into turn one and all of a sudden I’m alongside Sebastian and I was just hoping not to get collected or hit.”

“Sebastian I thought at the time made a mistake on his spin but now I know he got hit and had a damaged car. I was excited about racing him at that moment but what can I say. I came here thinking today was about damage limitation but I’ve come out ahead.”

Hamilton said he knew the rain would give him a better chance in the race.

“To come to a track which potentially was our weakest circuit and come away with a win like this and those points, it’s really such a fortunate scenario for us. I think ultimately we worked so hard so we are deserving of it.”

“When it rained I thought ‘this is it, I can win from fifth in the rain. I was so sure that I was going to be able to do something.”

2017 Singapore Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 21 comments on “Hamilton feared Vettel was going to spin into him”

    1. And I feared it’s not going to be a very good race for Ferrari when I saw the track is wet before the race started. It was not only a bad race for Ferrari, but the worst race possible: both cars out of the race while HAM took the win.

    2. Am I cynical for thinking that is where Vettel is different from Schumacher, his hero, who would probably have grabbed the chance to eliminate them both and keep the WDC tight. More integer, less win at all costs?

      1. I’m not sure he wasn’t. It would appear that he spun out because he was losing coolant or something slippery.

        I’m assuming he had warning lights telling him something was wrong. Most likely he was waiting for engineering to tell him how bad it was. But it is possible he knew he was done for and was laying a slick for Hamilton.

        Regardless of his intentions, fluids on the track are very dangerous. I would argue investigation into both Ferrari and McLaren would be appropriate. Cara spewing fluids shouldn’t be on the racing line. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the rules were to weak to enforce it.

        1. Not that it’s impossible, but I think you’re way too suspicious. I mean, VET laying a path of fluids so HAM spin and maybe crash into the somebody or wall?! Come on, quite ridiculous. 1st, VET car was still going normally after the collision with RAI and it’s just pure instinct that he kept 1st place. Then, how come you’re so sure he knew HAM was the driver behind him after the 1st corner?! From the footage, VET seems to be looking to the left after the collision, while HAM was on the right, taking a wide line into the 1st corner. So, I have the feeling he didn’t even knew HAM was behind after 1st corner. Finally, hardly believe VET was able to come to “senses” after the RAI collision, ackowledge the damage on his car, that his car is throwing fluids onto the track and towards the car behind, acknowledge HAM is behind him and then put up a scheme to take him out… all of these in just 10 seconds… seems something really blown out of the water.

          1. I have to agree that seems more than a bit unlikely @mg1982, @slotopen, I do think he was aware it was Hamilton behind him, but I doubt laying a trail for him would be the surest way to stop his opponent, nor do I think it would be a very reasonable way to go about it – seems more likely he wanted to try to go on himself, or at least reach the pits at the end of the 1st lap.

            1. Yeah, the car seemed to go normally fast after collision, so VET was going strong to keep his P1. So, we don’t know for sure, but he was obviously trying to complete the lap and maybe reach the pits… I guess. He obviously knew about the left side damage, have doubts tho he knew that his car was losing green fluids like a geezer. And if the car felt right… maybe he had in mind to race it like that… with damaged left side pods. But we don’t know nothing about that… if the car felt alright, if he was going to pit, if he was asked to pit etc.

          2. While driving in fury being hit from all sides at the same time!

      2. Maybe I am cynical too, but I think, that’s why Schumacher is the greatest driver of all times, in my opinion. He was a machine, trying to grab every opportunity, every win he could. He had one and only goal. And he did everything to achieve his goal. He was acting dirty sometimes, but that’s what him separates from others – trying to win at all costs. Pity I couldn’t witness Senna’s era, because he was ruthless too.

        1. @osvaldas31, you are right I meant it as a positive about Vettel as a human, but after writing it, I do agree that you could see it the way you feel it makes Schumacher the greatest. I don’t quite agree, because I do not think he needed to go quite as far as he did to still be as successful as he was, and I believe his achievements would have shone even more if he hadn’t, but I do understand what you mean. I think Vettel is ultimately the more sporting of the two, and therefore, the more deserving of the 4 championships he has.

        2. @osvaldas31

          The reasons you give are to me why Schumacher could not be considered the greatest. He was the best of his generation and his stats are amazing, but there will forever be a big red flag next to his name because he was morally corrupt. That, to my mind, is a very BAD thing, not something to admire.

      3. As a Vettel fan, I’d argue that Schumacher wouldn’t have been stupid enough to squeeze Verstappen that much actually.

      4. Michael Brown (@)
        18th September 2017, 16:29

        Webber tried that in 2010

      5. @bosyber: I would say more of the difference is, schumacher wouldn’t have feared a driver like hamilton who’s good on the wet, cause he was better, he’d have fled into the distance!

    3. If he did take Hamilton out, it would have been notable in that it would have knocked out every WDC driver on the grid!

      1. And that Vettel would ultimately be responsible for all of them going out…

    4. I bet he was more surprised the massive smile on his face didn’t force his helmet off.

      1. Ahahahhaaaaaa.

    5. Michael Brown (@)
      18th September 2017, 14:34

      He could have taken a page from Webber’s book and conveniently turned back onto the track in coincidentally take out his championship rival. Of course, Webber failed on that occasion.

    6. Vettel did an amazing job of driving backward for several seconds after he spun, which gave the oncoming cars more leeway to avoid him. There are very few driver with the presence of mind to do that.

      An even more amazing example of this ability was in Brazil, the final race 2012. Bruno Senna clouted him on the first first lap, Vettel spun off and then stopped facing backwards on to the track with at least a dozen cars coming straight at him. He flicked it into reverse & drove backwards, giving everyone a chance drive around him and avoid collided. And he did this with the championship on the line. IMO, an astounding presence of mind and one the most greatest driving feats I’ve ever seen in F1. Then he turned his car around and rejoined race, dead last. With his title hopes apparently dashed, Vettel scythed through the field in the rain soaked, rather mad race with his damaged car, setting several fastest laps. He wound up finishing 6th, which he needed to beat Alonso (who drove a great race to 2nd place) for the title by 3 points.

    7. It would have been fun.

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