The new Formula 1 season kicked off on Sunday, and while Lewis Hamilton was expected to continue Mercedes’ dominance that has reigned over the last three seasons it was Sebastian Vettel that surprisingly romped to victory in the race for Ferrari.
But rather than being furious at the fact that he missed out on victory in the race, Lewis Hamilton instead seemed to be excited by the proposition of going up against Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel in the forthcoming Formula 1 season. Lewis Hamilton made this clear in his remarks to the BBC after Sebastian Vettel’s triumph in Melbourne, but he still insisted that he’s very confident he and Mercedes will ultimately come out on top in the season.
“It is going to be a close race. I truly believe we can beat them. It’s great to see Ferrari there. It’s good we had this close battle. I’m looking forward to the next.”
Lewis Hamilton stopped short of saying that he was happy that Sebastian Vettel had won and that Ferrari were seemingly back in contention for the Formula 1 title after Mercedes’ period of dominance. However, Lewis Hamilton insisted that because of the huge rule changes that were made to Formula 1 over the summer there were still plenty of positives to take from their second place finish.
“I wouldn’t say I’m happy. But all things in perspective. To see where we have come from, with massive rule changes and to come here and be battling so close for a win and missing out marginally, there are a lot of things to be proud of. We could have won the race but I gave it everything I could and you can’t do more. Take the strength of the weekend.”
Lewis Hamilton echoed these comments when he took to his Twitter account shortly after the race, too.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) March 26, 2017
Lewis Hamilton then went on to explain in further detail why he was happy to be in contention with Sebastian Vettel, while he also confessed that he wished Fernando Alonso, who is widely regarded as one of the best drivers currently in the sport, but has been waylaid by the Ferrari and McLaren cars he’s been in over the years, was right up there with the two of them, too.
“This year we have the best drivers at the front. Of course it would be great to have Fernando [Alonso of McLaren] up there but it doesn’t look like it is going to happen any time soon. But Sebastian has four titles and he will continue for many years to come. I am really grateful to have that fight with him. It’s great.”
Sebastian Vettel wasn’t quite as optimistic as Lewis Hamilton that Ferrari would be staying in contention with Mercedes over the coming months, though. In fact, according to the BBC, after the race Sebastian Vettel reminded everyone that this was still just the first of the season and that there was still a very long way to go. But he also made sure to declare just how proud he was of his Ferrari team and crew, too.
“It is March, you know. All that matters now is we had a great race and it is a great relief for everyone. We did our job, we focused on ourselves and putting it together we had a good feeling driving it. It is massive for the team. A massive achievement but it does not stop there. It is just the beginning. The spirit is good inside the team.”
We’ll have a clearer indication of Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s championship credentials, and how Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will respond when the Chinese Grand Prix takes place in two weeks time.
[Featured Image by Mark Thompson/Getty Images]