“I never said I was going to stop”

“I never said I was going to stop,” he said. “But it was a difficult time for me and I really needed to step back.

“It was a time where I really needed to step back, focus on being present. I had my family all around me creating great moments.

“Eventually I got to a point where I decided I was going to be attacking again coming into another season.”

Read the full article on BBC.

Same Old Story For Vettel and Ferrari

Source: National Times via Twitter

Lewis Hamilton has enjoyed a similar surge towards the Formula One Drivers’ Championship, pulling away from Sebastian Vettel to take himself within touching distance of the crown. The Brit secured his fourth win on the bounce at the Japanese Grand Prix, leading the contest from start to finish. Hamilton’s triumph has put Vettel under huge pressure at the United States Grand Prix, needing a finish ahead of the 33-year-old to keep the title race alive going into the final three races of the campaign.

The German cannot afford to allow Hamilton to retain his crown without a fight, allowing him surpass his totals for four Championship wins. Another crown would put Hamilton beyond his rival and level with Juan Manuel Fangio on five titles, sitting just two behind Michael Schumacher on the all-time list. Hamilton is odds on in the latest F1 betting odds at 1/500, highlighting how close he is to completing his quest for the Championship, winning the crown in successive seasons for the second time of his career.

It has been almost a complete repeat of the 2017 season in the battle between Hamilton and Vettel. In the last campaign, the German got off to a strong start to the term, winning three of the opening six races. He led the Brit by 25 points after triumphing in the Monaco Grand Prix. However, he was unable to sustain his charge as errors, retirements and underwhelming performances proved to be costly.

Whereas Vettel’s displays waned towards the end of the year, Hamilton’s strengthened beginning with his domination of the middle section of the season. It was the same pattern that almost allowed the Mercedes driver to catch Nico Rosberg the previous term, only to fall agonisingly short. The 33-year-old made no mistake in 2017, easing his way over the line to draw level with Vettel on four titles.

Source: Planet F1 via Twitter

The 2018 season promised to be a tense race, with Ferrari claiming before the season that they had made strides to close the gap. Those assertions looked accurate in the opening two races in Australia and Bahrain as Vettel made another strong start to the campaign, clinching both victories to set an early tone. He failed to kick on to push away from the presence of his rival, although a triumph at the British Grand Prix ended Hamilton’s run of success on his home patch.

There was an opportunity to use the victory at Silverstone as momentum to close out the Drivers’ Championship. Vettel held an eight-point lead after his win, but a retirement at the German Prix caused by a crash in the opening lap of the race allowed Hamilton to regain control. Since then Vettel has not come close to disrupting the Brit’s charge for the title. It appears that the Mercedes driver will ease his way over the line bar a miracle for Ferrari and Vettel. Hamilton continues to win the battle to be known as the most dominant driver of the modern era and another triumph in 2019 would put just one crown away from matching Schumacher to match a claim to be the most successful man in the history of the sport.

The Force India VJM11 breaks cover – and it’s gorgeous!

The covers came off the VJM11 today in Barcelona to reveal a new gloss livery incorporating the pink, magenta and silver of Austrian water specialists, Best Water Technology (BWT).

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were on hand to conduct car presentation duties giving the media and fans a chance to see the team’s 2018 challenger for the first time. Nikita Mazepin joined the race drivers for a photo call alongside Chief Operating Officer, Otmar Szafnauer, and Technical Director, Andrew Green.

The updated livery offers a more dynamic look for the team and builds on the strength of the pink identity that was introduced in 2017.