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Vettel admits "huge" respect for Hamilton

NEWS STORY
16/04/2017

At times it's almost been embarrassing, the two multi-world champions gushing over one another's abilities and achievements, expressing their mutual admiration.

However, much like the on-going 'love-in' between Hamilton and his new teammate, Valtteri Bottas, according to the Briton his "best teammate ever", many are waiting for the moment it all goes sour, as with those with such ultra-competitive natures, it surely must.

Not so, insists Sebastian Vettel, who will go head-to-head with Hamilton later today, as the pair resume the fight for the 2017 title.

"Ever since he came into Formula One he was one of the fastest drivers," the German tells the official F1 website, "and even in lower categories he has shown that he has what it takes and that he is where he is thanks to his skills.

"He is the benchmark right now, the one you need to beat," admits the German. "For the title you have to step over him."

Minded that Hamilton has referred to the pair are like boxers who fall into one another's arms at the end of a particularly hard fight, Vettel laughs and replies: "I want to see the boxers who fall into each other's arms after a fierce fight. And if then from pure exhaustion!

"Well, we do fight fierce on the track," he adds, "but once the race is over there is no reason not to be on good terms. The respect is there... and huge."

Reflecting on a relatively disappointing qualifying session which saw him finish third, albeit 0.478s adrift of pole-sitter Bottas, Vettel said: "The car felt good and I hope that we will have a word or two to say in the race. The gap to the two Mercedes was slightly bigger than we had thought, seems Valtteri and Lewis found some time in sector two, especially on the straight.

"Maybe I could have been a bit closer as I was probably attacking too much on my last lap," he admits, "but I had to do something to close the gap and unfortunately it backfired a bit.

"Let's wait and see," he continues, looking ahead. "It's a long race, the start is not as important here as the way to the first corner is relatively long. What we have also seen in the last two days is that looking after your tyres will be an important factor in the race and in that respect I would say that nobody should underestimate the two Red Bull cars. I could imagine that maybe we will see a thrilling triple-header with Mercedes, Red Bull and us.

"The car feels good and there is the impression that there is still more in it, now it is our job to get that 'more' out of the car in the race."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Bahrain, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by karel, 18/04/2017 11:25

"First of all it was not really an exiting race. Secondly 'his best team mate' who was ordered to let him pas,
how long will this go ? Poor of Mercedes. luckily somehow Ferrari manages to bring some live in the brewery"

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