Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Hamilton 'sad' to lose challenge of Malaysian GP from F1 calendar

Vera Richards | 29 September, 2017, 00:33

When the cars were first stopped and being brought back to the grid to take their positions for a potential restart, Massa could be heard shouting over the radio, "I need a white visor, please c'mon, white visor, otherwise I cannot see anything".

Malaysia was the scene of his last retirement when his Mercedes engine blew up while he was leading the race - a moment which proved decisive in Nico Rosberg being crowned world champion.

But he has recently found a level of consistency unmatched by anyone else this season with four wins from the last five, including a sweep of the three races since the end of the mid-season break.

"It's not the first time I'm in the situation like this and probably will not be the last time - not that I'm hoping for it to happen again".

"They are taking away the toughest, if not the toughest race of the season", Hamilton said this week at an event by Mercedes backer Petronas in Kuala Lumpur.

"Now the championship is not as it was before Singapore where the two were equal", the two-time champion said.

However, Vettel was involved in an incident with Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen at the start that saw all three drivers retire, and Hamilton went on to take a crucial victory.

"I think it would have been more hard if I had lost the auto somewhere in the race, then it's obviously different", he said. "I think it is open for anyone to have freedom of speech and I guess we can all play..." Not much you can do.

"Every start is different, and the way Singapore happened you can look at it again and again; it doesn't matter".

"I definitely have thought about (retirement)", the Mercedes driver admitted on a British TV chat show at the weekend.

Vettel said he did not believe that falling behind in the championship reduced the pressure on him as he now had less to lose. "Two numbers we looked at, spectators going to the track and TV ratings", said Razali.

"This will give us the opportunity to evaluate Pierre on track during a proper race weekend", team principal Franz Tost said. With weather switching from baking sunshine to a tropical rain storm at the flick of a switch - go and watch the 2001 race again for a prime example of this - the racing has more often than not been edge-of-your-seat viewing.

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