Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

  • Nationality GBR
  • Standing 1st
  • Points 241

Season info

Last race

1st

  • Singapore 21/09/2014
  • Singapore

Best finish

1st

( x29 )

Twitter

"RT this for a chance to win this awesome SIGNED limited edition Spa..."

Lewis Hamilton Links

McLaren describe Sebastian Vettel's drive to third place in Abu Dhabi GP as 'lucky'

But Sky F1 pundits hail 'a champion's drive' from pitlane to podium

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 05/11/12 10:04am

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Lewis Hamilton has described Sebastian Vettel as "the luckiest man in F1" with the entire McLaren team apparently unconvinced that the World Champion deserved to claim third place in the Abu Dhabi GP after starting Sunday's race from the pitlane.

While Hamilton's remark was made with a forlorn chuckle following his own luckless retirement from the lead of the grand prix, the description was endorsed by both Jenson Button, whom Vettel overtook with five laps remaining to clinch his place on the podium, and McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh as they reflected on a captivating and confusing afternoon.

"Vettel got lucky with the second Safety Car," bemoaned the 2009 World Champion. "To keep him behind when he had brand-new tyres was so difficult because he had really good traction out of the slow corners.

"He did very well on the prime tyres, the car is quick, but if he didn't have those two Safety Cars he wouldn't have been up there."

To compound McLaren's evident frustration, Sunday's result also mathematically ended their hopes of winning the Constructors' Championship this season, with Button unable to hang on to a podium after a suspected fuel-pump failure forced Hamilton into retirement.

"Gutting for him, and the team," commented Whitmarsh. "Jenson fought long and hard through that race but I think Sebastian was quite lucky with the number of safetys, which is quite unusual here, but that's the way it went. A tough afternoon for the team."

But doesn't a driver make his own luck? If Vettel was fortunate, it was surely not in the exploitation of the two Safety Car deployments, but at the start of the race when he damaged his front-wing on two separate occasions and was then wisely instructed by his Red Bull team to cede position to Romain Grosjean after overtaking the Lotus with all four wheels over the track confines.

"A great effort from him to for 3rd but not totally perfect," observed Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft. "Some early clashes had to give a place back to Grosjean but from then on sublime.

"Yes, he made his luck and it might have been different if not for the pace car but a tremendous drive."

It was a balanced viewpoint endorsed by Anthony Davidson.

"Yes, he had a helping hand along the way but you have to have the desire and he had that today," concurred Anthony as he reviewed in-car footage of Vettel's topsy-turvy afternoon. "He showed the real mentality of a champion."

The barbs might not be going away, but a third World Championship, barring disaster, will be surely be coming his way sooner rather than later.

  • Share:

Related

Abu Dhabi GP 2012

Jenson Button: Not a fan of MP4-27

JB: MP4-27 my worst McLaren

Jenson Button has described McLaren's MP4-27 as the worst car he has driven during his time with the British team.

From pitlane to podium

Lucky? From pitlane to podium - the full story of Sebastian Vettel's Abu Dhabi GP

Was World Champ Sebastian Vettel lucky to finish third in Abu Dhabi? Judge for yourself as we review the Red Bull driver's topsy-turvy day...

Kimi Raikkonen: Didn't take too kindly to being pestered

'Don't call me, I'll call you'

Kimi Raikkonen has politely warned his Lotus team that it "won't be the last time" he delivers a rebuke over the radio.

Poll

Most Popular

Features

Hamilton on a roll

Hamilton on a roll

Martin Brundle on why it's now Lewis Hamilton flying high as the title pendulum swings at Mercedes.

Lewis' Singapore win

Lewis' Singapore win

Watch as Hammertime ends with a pass on Sebastian Vettel and victory for Lewis Hamilton under the lights

Hamilton's comeback

Hamilton's comeback

Watch Lewis Hamilton's comeback charge after he recovered from a poor start to win at Monza.