SO MANY OF HAMILTON ’SR ECENT GRAND prix victories with Mercedes have been achieved by taking pole position then driving off into the distance, but this season he has had to work harder than ever in the face of Sebastian
Vettel’s relentless onslaught and
Red Bull’s resurgence.
Hamilto nw on relatively comfortably in China, Canada, Italy and Singapore (after Vettel crashed out), and crushed the field in Britain, but had to fight to keep Max Verstappen at arm’s length to win in Japan, and had t oo vertake Vettel to taste victo ryins pain and the United States.
Hamilton’s other win – in August’s Belgian Grand Prix – stands out because he was pressured all the way by Vettel, and had to use all his tactical racing nous to keep the Ferrari behind, particularly during the late-race safety car restart.
Defensive skill is a relatively unheralded weapo nin Hamilton’s armoury, but he showcased it brilliantly by delaying gunning full throttle until midway through E aur ouge, suckering Vettel into following too closely and creating just enough extra space on the drag race t ol es Combes to stay ahead.
Spa was a unique Hamilton race in that sense, and it was one of the classiest drives within a large portfolio of classy performances fro mthew orld champio nin2 017.