Hamilton and Vettel whet appetite for 2018 but guns spell danger for Brazil GP | Giles Richards

The F1 world champion proved his hunger remains while Ferrari fought back but Valtteri Bottas, the quality of racing and the future of the Brazilian Grand Prix are a concern

After making his only major error of the season with a crash in qualifying at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton said he wanted to redeem himself in the race. Finishing in fourth place after starting from the pit lane was better than he expected. It was a performance acknowledged by the Mercedes executive director, Toto Wolff, who said: “It was the best fourth place I’ve ever seen. If you consider starting from the pit lane and ending up 5.4 seconds behind the leader, it’s quite an astonishing drive.” In doing so, Hamilton performed pass after pass. Many were perfunctory given his car’s advantage, but his reactions in dealing with Sergio Pérez’s spirited defence into turn one were indicative of a driver at the top of his game. He had wanted to end the season strongly with two wins, a goal that was beyond him after qualifying. That he chose to still hurl himself at the race, attempting to chase down third place right to the flag shows how hungry he is – a far cry from when he lost focus after taking the title in 2015. With his eye now on next season and the race win beyond him, the charge to fourth was the best statement of intent he could make.

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