Belfast Telegraph

Vettel will learn from errors and move on, insists rival Hamilton

Off colour: Sebastian Vettel is going through a difficult spell
Off colour: Sebastian Vettel is going through a difficult spell

By Philip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton has tipped Sebastian Vettel to bounce back from the latest in his expanding catalogue of mistakes.

Vettel spun out of contention while battling for second position with Hamilton in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

It marked the fourth time in his last 10 appearances that the Ferrari driver has lost control of his car while duelling with a rival.

He also crashed out of the lead 13 races ago in Germany, and will head into the next round in China a week on Sunday on a 231-day winless streak.

The emergence of Charles Leclerc as a Championship contender - a late engine problem denying the young Ferrari driver his maiden win - also added to Vettel's woes in Bahrain.

But Hamilton, who took advantage of Leclerc's late demise to win for a 74th time, said: "Sebastian is a true world champion, a great athlete and he will recover.

"Just because you are a multiple world champion, it doesn't mean you are not going to have off-weekends. It happens to all of us.

"If you look at his career, he has had stunning performances that far outweigh his weaker races.

"For example, when he has spun, they are minuscule on the status he has accumulated and created in the sport."

Vettel insists he is not feeling the heat.

"It had nothing to do with pressure," the German said as he explained his spin. "I was fighting with Lewis and the target was to stay ahead.

"It was a difficult race, so, on my side, there is plenty of homework. I am not happy."

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