Thursday 18th October 2018
George Lancaster – UCFB Multimedia Sports Journalism Student 2018
As the end of the Formula 1 season approaches, Sebastian Vettel trails Lewis Hamilton by 67 points in the World Championship.
It was round 17 of 21 and the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, after only qualifying 8thVettel knew that he had work to do, especially with Hamilton on pole position.
Hamilton got a good start of the line and maintained his lead from the front, Vettel instantly began making his way through the field; managing to overtake both of the Torro Rosso drivers and then passing Romain Grosjean in the Haas into fifth place.
Vettel was soon in fourth place as a Max Verstappen mistake resulted in a small collision with Kimi Raikkonen allowing Vettel to skip past Raikkonen and end up right behind Verstappen in third place.
The stewards deemed that the collision was Verstappen’s fault and gave him a five second penalty to be taken at his pit stop. The penalty would allow Vettel to be able to jump Verstappen at the stops.
However, Vettel’s desperation to get back into the race and the World Championship took the biggest blow when he tried to overtake Verstappen down the inside resulting in them colliding.
This left Vettel spinning off track and by the time he re-joined he was down in 19thposition. Hamilton ended up winning the race and rest of Vettel’s race was damage limitation as he finished 6th.
Vettel defended his decision at the end saying “The gap was there, I had more speed, I would make the corner, I was side by side.”
This result means that Hamilton could win the Championship at the next race in the USA.