This appeared place to be THE year. At the very least for the first 10 races of this season. Then it started to go horribly wrong for Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel, who proceeded from favorites for its title to being left wondering what had hit them in the space of weeks.
It all had begun absolutely: a powerful hypnotherapist, throughout which Ferrari looked to have finally caught up together with Mercedes concerning engine power, has been followed by Vettel successes in Australia and Bahrain, since he beat Lewis Hamilton thanks to some smart strategy in Melbourne and resisted an overdue statement by Valtteri Bottas to succeed at Sakhir.
Even the Azerbaijan GP saw the first of Vettel’s noteworthy errors throughout 2018, the German falling from second to fourth since he attempted to pass Bottas for an outcome that’d been Vettel’s before a safety car period which aided the Finn’s cause. A lucky Hamilton captured the occasion to get the race take the tournament lead from the process, but even then it looked as if it was Ferrari which had the speed benefit.
Hamilton went on to take another win as tyre woes re-signed Vettel to a remote fourth.
After another surprise success for Ricciardo in Monaco, Vettel got things back under control and obtained a controlling win in Canada – ordinarily Hamilton’s territory – to recover the championship lead while his rival had to settle for fifth on a circuit by which he’d won for 36 months in a row.
Then came Vettel’s 2nd notorious mistake of this season in France, by which the Ferrari driver hit Bottas at the start, damaging his vehicle and finishing down in fifth as Hamilton went on to win to produce the lead at the head of the standings change again. It wasn’t to endure, though, since Hamilton retired together with issues in Austria in what are his only DNF of the 2018 year old.
Vettel was not able to maximise the opportunity, however. A ridiculous grid penalty for impeding put him out of contention prior to the start of race, which was obtained by Verstappen while Vettel wound up behind team mate Kimi Raikkonen. The end result was sufficient to put him back in command in the tournament ahead of the 10th round of this growing season.
The British Grand Prix wasn’t the party Hamilton would have wanted after beating Vettel to stick: he was spun by Raikkonen at the start and had to fight his way through the area. Vettel did capture the opportunity this time with a superb drive to win from Bottas since Hamilton recovered to second place to restrict the damage in the standings while the tournament spanned the halfway point.
With an eight-point lead along with his home race , it was looking good for Vettel. And what appeared better if he procured pole position in Hockenheim while Hamilton hit problem and could not make it outside of Q1, starting the race from 14th place.
With everything in his favour, Vettel lead for most the race and looked set for success when the rain hit the circuit. Subsequently, with 15 laps to go, the four-time champion threw away the win by glancing out of the race in what was be a pivotal moment in the tournament’s deadline.
Hamilton won in Hungary and settled for 2nd supporting Vettel in Belgium to head to the Italian Grand Prix having a 17-point lead on his rival. With a very rapid car, as well as in front of the tifosi, the Monza race shown itself as a great opportunity for Vettel to minimize the gap to Hamilton.
Come Saturday, however, it was Raikkonen on pole ahead of Vettel, together with Hamilton down in third. Against the odds, the Briton proceeded to win, kicking off a four-race winning series. It was game over.
Using a 67-point lead and 4 races to go, Vettel’s chances were close to zero, together with Hamilton needing just two grands prix before clinching his fifth title in Mexico.
Even though Ferrari would win again using Raikkonen in USA, Vettel could finish the season using last stepped at the top of their podium in August.
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari