Lewis Hamilton-Sebastian Vettel rivalry could lead to classic F1 season
By Andrew Benson
Chief F1 writer
9 Apr From the sectionFormula 1 91
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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel
Hamilton and Vettel appear to be relishing the prospect of a more competitive season between Mercedes and Ferrari
Two races down, a win and a second place apiece for Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, and the prospect of the most exciting championship fight for many years. Formula 1 has been waiting for this for a long time – arguably too long.
The last three years of Mercedes domination led to existential questions about the state of the sport, and at least in part to the decision to change the rules to produce faster, more demanding cars this year.
That move now looks to have been one of great foresight. Mercedes find themselves locked in a battle with a Ferrari team whose car appears to be at least as fast, and Hamilton faces a fight with a rival who he truly respects as being close to an equal.
The three-time British world champion’s excitement at this is palpable.
He was talking after victory in China about the “hugely respectful competitiveness” between himself and Vettel of Germany – of this being the “most exciting” season of his career.
He also said this championship fight could be “one of the closest ones, if not the closest, I have ever experienced”.
That is really saying something considering he lost out by a single point to Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 – a year he scored exactly the same number of points as his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso – and that he won the 2008 title on the last corner of the last lap of the last race.