Vettel: Hamilton was 'the better man' in ’17
Sebastian Vettel admits Lewis Hamilton was "the better man" in their battle for the Formula 1 world championship, as Hamilton sealed his fourth F1 title in the Mexican Grand Prix.
Hamilton equalled Vettel's tally of four F1 championships despite a collision between them on the opening lap of the Mexico City F1 race that delayed both severely.
Vettel needed to finish second in Mexico to keep the championship race alive, but broke his front wing battling race winner Max Verstappen and Hamilton in the opening corners after the start and could only recover to fourth.
Hamilton finished ninth to clinch the championship with two races left to run.
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - Grand Prix of Mexico 2017Getty Images
Speaking to TV crews after the race, Vettel said:
" I'm down, obviously. It's tough to cross the line and realise that you're not in the fight anymore. That sums it up. The rest isn't that important, whatever happened today, the most important thing is it's Lewis's day - he was crowned world champion and he deserves that. I would have loved to go up on him, but it's his day, it's his year. For us, obviously we're left with whatever is left. Right now, it's disappointing. Next year will be a different story, as we all start again, but right now, in these moments, you need to give credit to the best man and that is him this year. Overall he was the better man and did the better job, simple as that."
When asked by Sky Sports to rate Hamilton as a competitor, Vettel replied: "I don't fear him. I like racing with him.
"I would have liked a little bit more of that this year. But overall, they were just the better bunch."