Hamilton says Vettel's mistakes are "minuscule"
Lewis Hamilton has defended Sebastian Vettel after the Ferrari driver spun off in Bahrain, calling the German's mistakes "minuscule" in the context of a long and successful career.
Vettel spun at Sakhir immediately after being passed by Hamilton for second place, and flat-spotted tyres caused a vibration that is believed to have triggered his subsequent front wing failure, which cost him more time.
The Ferrari driver went on to finish fifth in the race and is now 22 points behind championship leader Valtteri Bottas.
The incident came after several errors in 2018 contributed to Vettel falling away from world championship contention towards the end of the season.
"It's not that it plays on your mind, it happens to all of us," said Hamilton. "Just because you're a four-time champion doesn't mean you're not going to have off-weekends.
"It's more cumulative. If you look at Vettel's career he's had stunning performances that far more outweigh the weaker races, and when he's spun for example, they are minuscule on the status that he's accumulated and created.
"There are always times where you happen to just not get the right car set-up.
"You guys don't get to see all these little things that we're doing, and it just doesn't happen to work that weekend. And the differences are so small, and yet they look so big."
Hamilton has backed Vettel to bounce back after the disappointment of the Bahrain weekend.
"I don't know why their car was so different in pace, but I remember, looking back on me and Nico [Rosberg], we would be in Barcelona, we were quick in testing, and then there were massive difference in the car in the race, and you're literally just driving with your hands behind your back, and you've got no grip.
"Then another race, it's the other way.
"I don't know why it happens, but today it was one of those for him. But he's a world champion and a great athlete. He will recover and keep pushing," Hamilton added.
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