Fresh after Lewis Hamilton wrapped up his fifth world title in dominant fashion this season, a lot of rival competitors and their teams have have come under scrutiny for not mounting a good enough challenge to stop the British star, none more so than his closest rival Sebastian Vettel.
Before the season started, it was billed as ‘the race to five’ with both Hamilton and Vettel locked on four titles each, however, it proved to be more of a processional stroll for the Mercedes star.
Vettel is still regarded an excellent driver by many, but in recent years even he would admit he has been second best to Lewis Hamilton.
However, former F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone doesn’t think all of the blame should be aimed directly at Vettel.
Ecclestone believes the German might have been able to sustain a more serious title challenge this year had he received more support from his team.
“Lewis Hamilton is a deserved 2018 F1 champion and Vettel an undeserved second in the championship,” Ecclestone told Auto Bild, as per Planet F1.
“Lewis was outstanding this year but he also had the full support of the team. You can’t say that for Sebastian.
“From the outside, you had the impression that Ferrari did more for Kimi than for Sebastian.
“Sebastian is a victim not the culprit.
“If Vettel had the same support like Lewis, Vettel would have also become champion this year.
“A team needs to strengthen their star driver not weaken him.”
It isn’t going to get any easier for Vettel next season either, with his teammate Raikkonen set to be replaced by impressive rookie Charles Leclerc.
And if Ecclestone is right, Vettel might have just as tough of a fight inside his own garage as on the grid.
Regardless, nothing should be taken away from the ever-impressive Lewis Hamilton, as he wrapped up yet another world title in such convincing fashion.