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Hamilton endured a difficult Italian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton has performed a spectacular U-turn on how he’s assessing his title hopes after a disastrous Italian Grand Prix.
As Autosport reported, despite salvaging two points, he ruled himself out of the title battle in the immediate aftermath of a race in which he lost radio communication, battled a slow puncture (which in turn compromised his strategy and negated his use of the hard tyre in the early stages).
However, almost as swiftly came the correction, reported on the same website, that he decided all was not lost. It’s game on, as far as Lewis is concerned.
It’s not as easy as that, even if a driver scorned can be a potent weapon and a Hamilton with something to fight for is (metaphorically) deadly.
The Mercedes is the trickiest of the trio of makes (amazingly) still hassling Vettel for the title to discover any likely form in the final stage of the season.
Ross Brawn has made no secret of his desire not to compromise 2014 and beyond, as reported by Sky Sports. With Hamilton so far behind, will those attentions shift now?
And even if they don’t, can Hamilton overturn Vettel’s 81-point advantage? Last season, bad luck saw him rack up a paltry 48 points despite ending the season in the fastest car.
The Mercedes is probably not going to boast that title, though should challenge for victory in Singapore, even if it is almost unrecognisable in competitiveness to the one Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher battled with in the latter stages of 2012.
Just for a frame of reference, between those two Mercedes scored just seven points post-Monza last year. Seven. That was courtesy of a 10th for Rosberg in Singapore (he didn’t score again in 2012) and sixth for Schumacher at the season-ending Interlagos.
Rosberg has managed 27 points more after 12 rounds this year than he had at the same stage last year. Beyond the figures, we know the Merc is a race winner now. Hamilton is also mega in Abu Dhabi and was at Austin’s inaugural event.
But is that all irrelevant? Probably, barring a disaster for Vettel. Put it this way: If the German replicates his inconsistent 2012 form from the opening seven races (one win, two podiums and a DNF in a bit of a mixed bag) he’ll still wrap up the title.
Hamilton may not have conceded defeat, but the prospect will cast a huge shadow over the Briton now.