Lewis Hamilton thinks his tense battle with Sebastian Vettel at the Belgian Grand Prix is proof the outcome of title fight could be determined by the smallest mistake.
Hamilton overcame the championship leader at Spa-Francorchamps despite a tyre disadvantage at the Safety Car restart late in the race. Mercedes had been expected to waltz to victory in Belgium, a power sensitive circuit, but Vettel qualified just 0.2s behind Hamilton’s pole time and then demonstrated Ferrari’s strong race pace on Sunday by staying with the race leader throughout.
Hamilton won, cutting Vettel’s championship lead to seven points, but revealed Ferrari’s display has left him with a cautious mindset about the remaining races of the season. The Englishman thinks the battle will ebb and flow between both drivers until November’s title decider in Abu Dhabi.
“I can’t predict it, but just from what we have experienced up until now and how close we were [at Spa], for sure it’s how it’s going to be and it’s going right down to the wire,” Hamilton said.
Lewis also said thathis win was largely down to having track position after taking pole position, stating Sunday’s win had taken “everything out of him” to maintain the lead.
“I think Ferrari were ultimately quicker. I was just able to keep them at bay,” Hamilton told Sky F1.
If the cars were reversed I don’t think I would have been able to hold as close as he did.
“If anyone’s out there thinking we have the best car this year then they need to think again, because it’s not the case.”
“I think we have the upper hand power wise but we’ve got to keep improving,” said Hamilton. “The pressure is on. The next race, package wise, should be similar to this weekend but when we get to Singapore that’s really when the test is going to be shown where Ferrari should be really fast as they were in Hungary – so we will see.”