Lewis Hamilton defends Sebastian Vettel on social media, ask for respect
Lewis Hamilton has defended title rival Sebastian Vettel, asking for respect on social media in the wake of Japanese Grand Prix after the German has been continuously attacked for making mistakes throughout the season.
After yet another unfortunate turn of events for Vettel in Suzuka, his championship hopes now hang by a thread after falling 67 points behind. Hamilton will be crowned world champion for a fifth time at the next race in the USA should Vettel be outscored by eight points when they cross the finish line.
Fans and Italian media have lambasted Vettel for his efforts over the course of the season, even some going as far to claim Vettel is incapable of leading Ferrari to a world title.
Over the course of the 2018 season, it has been Vettel who has made more notable mistakes than Hamilton in their battle for a fifth world title. Falling into the Sachskurve gravel trap in Hockenheim, spinning after contact with the British driver in Monza and also the collision with Verstappen in Suzuka have all cost the German major losses against Hamilton.
Despite the pair coming to blows over the past two seasons, most notably at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2017 after the Ferrari driver made contact with Hamilton under Safety Car conditions, the pair still maintain a mutual respect for each other despite their rivalry.
"The media needs to show a little more respect for Sebastian," Hamilton wrote on social media.
"You simply cannot imagine how hard it is to do what we do at our level, for any athlete at the top of their game that is.
"It is to be expected that being humans we will make mistakes but it is how we get through them that counts."