Sebastian Vettel remains adamant he can win the 2018 F1 driver's championship, despite having to overthrow a 50 point deficit with just five races to go. Vettel had to settle for third at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, while rival Hamilton went on to take the victory.
Mercedes' win was controversial however, as race leader Valtteri Bottas was instructed to let Hamilton by for the benefit of his championship. Despite the gap increasing over the last three races, Vettel is still holding onto the fight against Hamilton.
"I’m clever enough, I wasn’t a genius in maths but I was clever enough to pay attention to make out for myself that it’s not getting easier if we lose points,” he said. "We had to be third and settle with that for today.
“I still believe in our chances; yes. Obviously it’s not getting bigger, as I said, if you finish behind but who knows, it takes one DNF and then all of a sudden things look different – ideally two! – which I’m not wishing on Lewis but you never know what happens.
“So we need to stay on top of our game which maybe we haven’t been completely this weekend: make sure that from where we are now we focus on winning the last races.”
Hamilton does not need to win another race for the remainder of the season in order to clinch his fifth championship and could settle for second each time if Vettel was winning.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing