Vettel: Hamilton/Max do not need team-mate support

Date published: November 30 2021 - Jamie Woodhouse

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, Red Bull, lead Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes. Brazil, November 2021.

Sebastian Vettel feels that Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen do not require support from their team-mates for the title battle.

Verstappen goes into into the penultimate round of the season in Saudi Arabia with an eight-point lead over Hamilton at the top of the Drivers’ Championship, and throughout the campaign much has been made of the role that their respective team-mates can play in the ultimate outcome.

Long since out of the title equation, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas has now been tasked with aiding Hamilton’s title push wherever possible, as well as Mercedes’ Constructors’ title bid, while Perez was signed by Red Bull for that specific duty as Verstappen makes his bid for a first World Championship.

As a four-time World Champion, Vettel has vast experience of such championship fights and it is his belief that both Hamilton and Verstappen do not need to rely on their respective team-mates in that way.

Max Verstappen drinking champagne next to Lewis Hamilton. Qatar November 2021

“Mark [Webber] was obviously in the title fights as well and I don’t know how it is if the other guy supports you or the team has a very clear role,” said Vettel, as quoted by GPFans.

“[At Red Bull] It never got to that point.

“We were too close, I guess, in terms of points and it was never that clear that it was only one car, one driver in the second half of the season.

“In general, I am not a big fan of devoting the second driver just to help, which I don’t think is currently the case.

“Maybe it is a little bit hyped but I think everybody should race for his own race and you should fight for your own championship.

“I’m quite happy that I didn’t have great support, and I don’t mean this negative to Mark, but just that I had to do it on my own because looking back I am very proud at what I achieved.

“I achieved it on my own and not because I was helped.”

 

Verstappen could wrap the title up at the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, should he extend his eight-point buffer over Hamilton to 26 or more.

If not, then the World Champion will be crowned at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.