Lewis Hamilton has backed Formula 1 rival Sebastian Vettel to bounce back from his mistake in Bahrain, saying his errors have been “minuscule” compared to his achievements in the sport.

Vettel spun his car while fighting Hamilton for second place on Sunday in Bahrain, the error ultimately resigning him to a fifth-place finish.

Hamilton went on to win the race for Mercedes after Vettel’s Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc, suffered an engine failure in the closing stages that caused him to drop to third after being on-course for victory.

The mistake by Vettel followed a string of errors that cost the four-time world champion significant ground on Hamilton in last year’s title fight. Incidents in Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA allowed Hamilton to wrap up last year’s championship with two races to spare.

However, Hamilton said it was not worth reading too much into Vettel’s errors, tipping the Ferrari driver to bounce back.

“I can only recollect two times,” Hamilton said when asked about Vettel’s mistakes. “I think he was behind the car and maybe lost aero and understeered into me and spun, unfortunate.

“I would say there’s too few of them to really look to much into it. I looked at the replay and we didn’t touch, which is a good thing. It was really windy there.

“Just because you’re a multiple world champion doesn’t mean you’re not going to have off weekends. It’s more cumulative. You look at Vettel’s career, and he’s had stunning performances that more than outweigh the weaker races or when he’s spun for example.

“They’re minuscule on the status that he’s accumulated and created. There are always times you happen to just not get the right car setup – which you guys don’t get to see all these little things we’re doing – and it just doesn’t happen to work that weekend and the differences are so small yet they look so big.

“I don’t know why that happens, but today was one of those for him.

“But he’s a world champion, a great athlete. He will recover and keep pushing.”



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