Lewis Hamilton says Sebastian Vettel's title success places him in the 'legendary books'
Lewis says four world titles at the age of 26 is a "phenomenal achievement"
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 27/10/13 2:42pm
Lewis Hamilton congratulated Sebastian Vettel on his World Drivers' Championship victory
Lewis Hamilton was quick to congratulate Sebastian Vettel after his latest world title success, labelling his rival a "legend" after the Red Bull driver's victory in the Indian Grand Prix.
Vettel secured his fourth straight title after taking the chequered flag at the Buddh International Circuit, an achievement that places him alongside Juan-Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher in the pantheon of Formula 1 greats.
Hamilton was happy up the epithet stakes yet further, though, after finishing sixth. "Firstly, congratulations to Sebastian - a four-times World Champion that's pretty awesome," he told Sky Sports F1 straight after the race.
"He's now in the legendary books - he already was. To do it at such a young age - I think he's 26 - is pretty phenomenal. He's broken quite a few records these past few years.
"I'll try and catch him at some stage, though he's probably going to be too busy from now on."
Hamilton's own race proved disappointing. After starting third on the grid, he dropped back early and fought unsuccessfully to pass Felipe Massa's Ferrari.
The 2008 World Champion struggled with tyre wear and lost another place to McLaren's Sergio Perez in the closing stages.
"It was good we got some points but a pretty poor race for myself," Hamilton added.
"It felt okay. It was a pretty bad race as you can see but these kinds of races happen. We've got a couple of races left and we've just got to keep pushing."
It was a different matter for team-mate Nico Rosberg, however, after he finished second behind Vettel, with his and Hamilton's points enabling Mercedes to take a four-point lead over Ferrari in the fight for second place in the Constructors' Championship.
"For our team, it was a very important race today. We scored a lot of points and climbed back up to second place in the Constructors' Championship," said the German. "I'm quite confident that we can keep that position until the end of the season as the team is doing a great job and our car looks good but it will be a fight."