A defeated Sebastian Vettel conceded that Lewis Hamilton was the best driver in 2018 after finishing second in Mexico Sunday and falling out of championship contention.

Sunday must have been quite an odd day for Vettel. Finishing second in a race with your major rival in fourth would usually be a good day but when it means that your championship challenge is over nonetheless, it puts a far more negative spin on things.

“Obviously not an easy day but well deserved and congrats to him and his team,” said Vettel. “They did a superb job all year so yeah. I think we need to stand there and accept that and say congratulations. Obviously, we’d have loved to have hung in there a little bit longer, but it wasn’t to be the case.”

Wanting to escape and take the time to compose himself before facing anymore questions, Vettel went over to his victorious rival, posing for the fans with arms around each other.

Speaking later in the press conference away from the roar of the grandstands, Vettel continued “I think he drove superb all year and was the better one of us two, so I told him it was well deserved and to enjoy it. Number five, I think it is something incredible, so I mainly congratulated him and asked him to keep pushing next year. I need him at his best to fight him again.”

Struggling for performance in recent weekends, Vettel had been in danger of falling into the jaws of Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas but his 18-point haul from Mexico confirmed that he would end the season as runner-up in the drivers’ championship.

Source: Autoweek

October 28, 2018