Enjoying a 28-point lead following Singapor’s win, Lewis Hamilton has empathised with Sebastian Vettel for the start-line clash that eliminated his title rival, rather than settling back and allowing himself a certain degree of schadenfreude
Speaking after the race, the Briton admitted that Vettel most likely didn’t see MaxVerstappen in his mirrors, far less teammate Kimi following his brilliant start, and was therefore unsighted.
“Often, when you look at my last start at Monza, when you pull away, you can’t actually see the guy who’s in second place,” he told reporters. “They’re generally in your blind spot if they get as good a start as you, and it’s difficult to know where they are.
“So your immediate thought is to cover your ground, get to the inside and cover and turn them down,” he continued, “so I assume that’s what he did.
“When you do that, all of a sudden they appear in your mirror so you can understand where they are, or if they are in your peripheral view, but sometimes you do it and you realise you’re ahead so you actually didn’t need to. I don’t know if Sebastian felt that way or not. I was only focused on trying to get away faster than Daniel.”
Of course, the fly in the ointment, was Raikonnen, who made a devastating start and was looking good to lead the field into the first corner.
“I saw Kimi,” said Hamilton, “so I was just keeping an eye on what was happening on my left side and if some drama was going to happen I was just going to have to go straight at turn one and not get collected, which I was conscious of.”
Earlier, Lewis Hamilton has explained how the late Ayrton Senna helped him to an emphatic Singapore GP victory in the rain on Sunday.
Hamilton has long heralded Senna as his Formula 1 idol and says he had the Brazilian’s 1988 Monaco GP crash in his mind as he remarkably led Sunday’s Marina Bay race through every lap despite starting fifth.