Published: Sun, October 21, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Sebastian Vettel - It's pretty obvious Lewis Hamilton did a better job

Sebastian Vettel - It's pretty obvious Lewis Hamilton did a better job

Hamilton's title rival, Vettel, was second, and less than a tenth of a second slower, but an intriguing duel at the head of the pack on Sunday may not materialise since he will start in fifth position as the result of a penalty for breaking a red flag rule on Friday.

Lewis Hamilton may be on the brink of beating Sebastian Vettel to this year's Formula One title, but insists he is still expecting a Ferrari fightback in the remaining four races. That would draw him level with the Argentinian great Juan Manuel Fangio and in sight of Michael Schumacher's record tally of seven.

It confirmed a "double-top" for the Briton who had also been fastest in the morning's opening session and who needs to outscore Vettel of Ferrari by eight points to wrap up the 2018 championship.

The latest incident occurred in the opening 90-minute practice session after Vettel's future teammate Charles Leclerc, who is moving to Ferrari in 2019, dragged gravel onto the circuit with his Sauber vehicle.

Esteban Ocon of Force India and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull were given three-place penalties for speeding under red flags at the Japanese and Australian Grands Prix respectively. The German failed to slow sufficiently when the red flags were shown to stop the session...

Yet Hamilton says he is not focusing on title celebrations just yet and is instead expecting Vettel to come out fighting at the Circuit of Americas in Austin.

LeBron James announced his arrival to the Lakers with a thunderous dunk
But despite all the early promise, Portland still managed to ruin the party. He added a follow-up 19 seconds later with a one-handed effort.

"I'm not sure it's the right thing to do if there's someone right behind you, but it's more important you don't get the penalty". "To be consistent with previous decisions on similar incidents this year, the Stewards assessed the penalty specified above".

It's a shame, especially looking at the situation, still fighting for the championship.

"I think I saw the red flag, I slowed down, had a look around where a auto was potentially stuck in a wall if there was one around turns nine or ten then slowed down significantly to comply with the rules".

"It's quite a harsh penalty", said Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso.

"The intermediate tyres provided pretty good grip for the wet conditions, but I don't think they will last very long", he added.

When asked whether there should be more common sense, he replied: "I think there should be common sense with the rules that we have".

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