Lewis Hamilton says F1 media needs to show Sebastian Vettel more respect

Vettel and Verstappen clash

The German collided with Max Verstappen in Suzuka on Sunday and was blamed for taking unnecessary risks.

Hamilton has won the last four Grands Prix - leading Valtteri Bottas for a 1-2 in both Russian Federation and Japan - to open a 67-point advantage over Sebastian Vettel in the Drivers' battle.

Hamilton stands on the brink of a fifth world championship after a remarkable run of six victories from the past seven races.

It is a measure of Lewis Hamilton's total mastery of the track that Sebastian Vettel has been reduced to the type of self-damaging, gung-ho gamble that practically gift-wrapped the world title for the Briton here on Sunday, said the Daily Mail.

But Mercedes' Hamilton wrote on Instagram: "I feel the media need to show a little more respect for Sebastian".

"You simply can not imagine how hard it is to do what we do at our level, for any athlete at the top of their game that is", said Hamilton.

He made a big error in Germany, sliding into the barriers while leading on a slippery track, to put Hamilton back in front in July and the Mercedes driver has not looked back as Ferrari's season unravelled.

"In terms of Sebastian's performance, I definitely hadn't anticipated that they would tail off as they have", he said, after Vettel's fading title hopes were all but extinguished. You don't have to win every race to be world champion, you have to keep scoring.

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"Of course I would love to race right to the end - every single race I want battles like Monza".

It means the championship could be decided as early as the United States Grand Prix in a fortnight's time.

Ferrari may have been frustrated by Verstappen's role in this latest farce - he hindered Kimi Raikkonen, too - but it has been outclassed all year long and must find a response fast before another season of masterful Mercedes racing is upon us. He was in the lead by what would be today 45 points with two races to go.

"We have given everything so far and I believe there's still something we can learn and understand from the vehicle".

"It is very easy for me not to do that because I am very strict on not being complacent", he said.

Hamilton went on to overhaul Kimi Raikkonen to win the Monza race, then took victory in Singapore and Russian Federation - two places where Ferrari was quicker than Mercedes previous year, but was outpaced this time.

Nothing lasts forever but Mercedes will start 2019 more settled than those immediately below them in the pecking order, the only top team to field an unchanged lineup.

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