Vettel: Hamilton deserves 2017 F1 title
29 October 2017 – Sebastian Vettel says Lewis Hamilton has done a "superb job" in Formula 1 this season and is fully deserving of the 2017 championship.
Vettel led the standings through to the Italian Grand Prix, having won four races over the opening half of the campaign, but his title challenge unravelled amid a spate of incidents and reliability issues.
Vettel entered the Mexican Grand Prix with a 66-point deficit to Hamilton and needed to secure a top-two finish, with Hamilton enduring a difficult race, in order to keep his hopes alive.
Both Vettel and Hamilton were compromised on the first lap when the pair made contact, with Vettel sustaining front-wing damage and Hamilton receiving a rear-right puncture.
Both pitted, effectively ending Vettel's title chances, though he recovered to fourth position, after running an aggressive two-stop strategy, while Hamilton came home ninth.
"It's not that important what we have done today, it's more important what Lewis has done," Vettel explained post-race.
"He's done a superb job all year round and deserves to win title, so congratulations to him.
"It's not about anybody else, it's about him, it's his day.
"I like racing with him, I would have liked a little bit more of that this year, but overall they were just the better bunch."
When asked if he had any regrets over how the year had panned out, Vettel replied: "What does it matter now?"
Vettel and Hamilton embraced in the post-race press pen, with the Ferrari driver congratulating his Mercedes rival on securing the crown.