Lewis Hamilton has mounted a defence of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel after a series of high-profile errors. Most recently, Vettel crashed into Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix, an eighth in-race error from the four-time world champion in the past year.
Vettel has started each of the two previous seasons strongly, only to eventually be reeled in by Hamilton amid performance concerns for Ferrari. The Briton, well on his way to a sixth World Championship, has sympathy with his erstwhile rival.
“People can be easily forgetful. I just remember him as a four-time champion and a formidable competitor. You need to keep the respect there and expect him to come back strong,” he said.
Vettel crashed out when leading the German Grand Prix last year and will be back on home soil this weekend. According to Hamilton, his problems aren’t all of his own making. “I don’t think anything in particular has happened with him. The team have struggled. They have had some difficult races,” he added.
Also adding to the scenario, Vettel’s 21-year-old team-mate Charles Leclerc has been impressing for Ferrari. “He has a new youngster next to him who is doing a great job as well, so it doesn’t appear to be the easiest of times,” said Hamilton, who feels Leclerc is on the right path.
“Charles is only in his second season. He has a lot of growing and I can only see him getting stronger. That one I am eager to watch out for.”
Hamilton is 1.67 to win the German Grand Prix, while Vettel is 11.00 and Leclerc can be backed at 10.00.