The four-time champion spoke late Thursday in Mexico City where he was set to take part in the opening practice on Friday knowing that he faced a fierce scrap with both Ferrari and Red Bull at the high altitude (2,200 metres) Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. "Next year 40, so I will invite you to the party!" said Kimi. But as Raikkonen seized the lead of the race Vettel, once again, found himself spinning on the first lap after banging wheels with Ricciardo.
Hamilton could have clinched his fifth world title at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, but a costly decision to pit twice meant he could only manage third place. As Hamilton himself has said, Vettel deserves more respect from the F1 commentariat than that.
"Just winning the championship has been the goal".
"The first one felt incredibly hard [to win] but from then on it's got harder and harder".
There have been claims that Ferrari's inconsistency has made it easy for Mercedes in the second half of the season - and Rosberg appears to subscribe to that view.
"They took the vehicle apart and when they put it back together, it was imbalanced, with a massive cross-weight, in the order of 50kg", he said.
"It felt very odd out there".
"But I am not at home, and when you are actually living in the situation, you just want to get it done".
"But the right-handers it was better, but there are not a lot of right-handers at that track". "It's not about one particular area; there are lots of different things that we can improve".
Hamilton is therefore in prime position to put an end to Vettel's lingering chances on Sunday, and the Briton is hopeful that he can achieve such a feat.
Sat between that pair is Max Verstappen (5/1 - 6.00) after the Dutchman won here previous year - arguably securing Red Bull's most dominant win of the V6 hybrid era to date - while Daniel Ricciardo (10/1 - 11.00) and Valtteri Bottas (16/1 - 17.00) offer a bit of value if you fancy their respective luckless runs to end. Ross Brawn (pictured above), F1's motorsport boss, however, has hinted that he wants to make a change.
"I don't know if that really dictates what happened in the end result".
"It wasn't like I was going in too fast or would have spun on my own at that speed, not at all". So I guess there must be some sort of hole or something being on the inside of another vehicle in that position.
"Obviously on all three occasions I wasn't clearly ahead, at best side by side, so maybe next time I try the outside". "We haven't yet understood everything, which is also normal".
"It [the criticism] is fair", he said.
"The main thing is that fundamentally I didn't try to do anything silly or stupid, I wasn't hard-headed or trying to do something that would never work".
"Obviously, inside the vehicle things look a little bit different, then you look from 13 different angles and in slow-motion and by that time even the last person in the paddock might have an opinion, so it is obviously different. Next time there will be a gap I'm sure I will go for a gap but, surely, it's in the back of your head trying to keep the vehicle facing the right direction", he added. In more races than not, he has had a faster auto than that of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport's Lewis Hamilton, who now leads the driver standings. There are 129 points to be scored with 66 that we have. Surely we could have had more. "As long as you get it done".
"We had races where we were very competitive but also races where we were not".
He ruled out dieting during the middle of the season because it "destroys you mentally".
Times BST until Sunday, 28 October when GMT begins.
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