Formula 1

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Sebastian Vettel says mind games with Lewis Hamilton are not on his agenda

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Sporting battles are quite often a battle of the mind just as much as the natural ability that an athlete may have at their disposal.

Formula 1 has been no different with some of the best drivers in the history of the sport successfully using a mental edge to gain an advantage over their rivals.

Sebastian Vettel is one of drivers who have used that tactic in the past, but he admits even if wanted to get into the head of Lewis Hamilton, finding the opportunity to do so would have extremely difficult with how times have changed.

Hamilton could potentially claim a fifth world championship this weekend, although that heavily depends on Vettel's final position in Austin.

But the German insists he rarely actually speaks to his title rival so couldn't play mind games, even if he wanted to.

"If we see each other, it's briefly at a press conference or the briefing or with a little luck on the podium. There is no direct contact," Vettel said, per The Express.

"Things like ‘you have no balls' or ‘you were crap today' are no longer possible because every word is put on a golden scale.”

In a year where it was widely thought that Vettel and Ferrari would end the dominance of Ferrari, it has been a season to forget for the German in which he has found no momentum whatsoever.

F1 Grand Prix of Japan

Hamilton currently has a 67 point lead over his rival and will try to wrap up his fifth drivers' championship at the US Grand Prix this weekend.

However, Vettel is trying to keep a positive mindset amid the gloom.

"Pressure is not necessarily fun, but it doesn't always exist where people often suspect from the outside.

"Honestly, you drive for yourself and for those who help you to compete at this level. One guiding principle helps me. It's that no one is ever as good or as bad as it is said.

"And I always like to reflect on what brought me to racing: my enthusiasm and joy."

AUTO-F1-PRIX-RUS

Meanwhile, Hamilton's team boss Toto Wolff has heaped praise on the British driver for his performances this season.

Wolff said: "Two one-twos in a row also show how well both drivers are performing. With six race victories in the last seven races, Lewis has shown what a class act he is.

“Both on and off the track he is more complete than ever before, showing commanding performance in the car and challenging the entire team to perform to higher levels at the same time.

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However, the Austrian is unwilling to pop the champagne corks just yet.

“Ferrari have a strong car and they will keep on pushing until the very last corner in Abu Dhabi.

"They have been worthy opponents in the past 17 races and we have no reason to believe that this will change in the next four; just like us, they will fight fiercely for every point and position.

While that may be true, what also is a fact is that Hamilton and Mercedes have been a class apart this season and will get their due rewards sooner rather than later.

Topics:
Sebastian Vettel
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Mercedes
Formula 1

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