Though Lewis Hamilton‘s win extended his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel to fifty points, giving the German an almost impossible mountain to climb in the five remaining races, the Ferrari driver was in no rush to join the bandwagon attacking Mercedes for its use of team orders.
“Well done to both of them, they played very well together as a team,” the German told reporters. “In their defence, all the questions… obviously I know that you guys love controversy and therefore ask some naughty questions to them as individuals but I think in the position they were in it was a no-brainer what they did today so maybe not all the questions are justified.
“For us, obviously we tried our maximum,” he added. “I think there was a slim chance to finish ahead of Lewis. I went through the racing bit this afternoon, so we have to be third and settle with that for today.
“I still believe in our chances,” he insisted, “yes, obviously it’s not getting bigger, as I said, if you finish behind but who knows, it takes one DNF and then all of a sudden things look different – ideally two! – which I’m not wishing on Lewis but you never know what happens, so we need to stay on top of our game which maybe we haven’t been completely this weekend: make sure that from where we are now we focus on winning the last races.”
Asked about the mathematics of the task, he admitted: “To be honest, I go race by race. Obviously I’m clever enough – I wasn’t a genius in maths – but I was clever enough to pay attention to make it up myself but it’s not getting easier if we lose points.”
Meanwhile, asked how he would react to being called on to hand over an almost certain win to his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen replied: “A few beers would help.”