Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche has lauded Lewis Hamilton’s performances in Formula 1, especially for his consistent run without making too many mistakes in crucial juncture.
It has been a close fight in 2018 where Ferrari has certainly stepped up to match Mercedes if not go hugely quicker than them. However, they find themselves in a spot of bother as they sit 25 points behind Mercedes after 14 rounds in the season.
In the drivers’ side, Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel by 30 points with only seven races to go. The lead has ebbed and flowed between the two drivers but Hamilton always had the upperhand with his consistent finishes in the Top 5 or on the podium.
On the other hand, Vettel has had more races where he has finished outside the podium which has broaden up the points gap. While they both have had a retirement, but Vettel’s one was costly as it was his mistake rather than Hamilton’s reliability issue.
The British driver’s mistake-free drives is helping him to stay ahead of Vettel in the championship even without the Mercedes advantage – something which makes Zetsche very proud for his driver as he fights for the fifth title.
“Basically, every race he is flawless in his performance and he again got the No.1 position [in Italian GP] because his opponent made a mistake,” he said after the race. “He [just] doesn’t make mistakes. At the same time, he is very emotional in the positive sense.
“I talked with him in the morning. He woke up like a 10-year-old, saying ‘I am so excited, I want to win’, when you get your mind there, you are halfway there already. So, he is an absolutely outstanding personality in all aspects.
“We are extremely glad to have him in our team and to be friend with him.” Much has been said about Hamilton’s calmness in crucial situations this year where Vettel has made mistakes creating a tough situation for himself.
Meanwhile, Zetsche conceded that Ferrari has done a good job to come into terms with Mercedes and even better them in some areas but he remains optimistic that the German team will be able to prevail still and come on top of their Italian rivals.
“Power is one aspect [where Ferrari has caught up] but they have done many things well, they have reliability second to none this season and they have a very good chassis, so whatever the rumours are flying around, they are doing a fantastic job.
“My position is, let’s focus on our car and do everything to make it better and in combination with two fantastic drivers, it creates the results and success. Monza is one of our traditionally strong tracks.
“So the other way around, if we were to lose [in Italy], it would have been very open for the end of the season. We are now 25 points ahead, but there are still other tracks where we have more difficulties. So, it is of course still open but I am more optimistic,” he said.
[Read: Hakkinen’s views on Italian GP]