Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari’s Formula 1 rivals Mercedes rode its luck by taking a “huge risk” on its way to winning the Mexican Grand Prix.

Hamilton survived an early off and preserved his ageing Hard tyres to claim his 10th victory of the season and edge ever closer to winning a sixth drivers world title in Mexico City.

Vettel ran 13 laps deeper into the race but was unable to take advantage of his fresher tyres and ultimately crossed the line 1.7s behind the Mercedes driver. Afterwards, he said he felt Mercedes won due to a combination of having a faster car and its strategy gamble paying off.

“Ultimately if you are fair, I think we didn’t have the speed to force the victory, despite the strategy,” Vettel explained.

“With hindsight you are always a bit smarter and obviously Lewis had nothing to lose so he might as well try and it worked for him.

“We expected the tyres to hit the cliff but for him it was fine, he had significantly more laps on it and I think seeing that Valtteri stayed out so long is confirmation for them that it was a huge risk.

“There are these days where it pays off but certainly it was not all knowledge.

“So I don’t think we got beaten on strategy terms, I think they won and got a bit lucky, second they had a bit more speed.”

Asked if he would like to see Ferrari take more risks like Mercedes, Vettel replied: “We are taking risks but obviously there’s no point being stupid.

“At that point of the race fitting the Hards without stopping again was a brave move. I could have been either way and speaking to them after the race quickly they had the two stops as their preferred strategy, so as I said if you are in that position you might as well try.

“Third and fifth is not a big difference but if it allows you to jump to first you are the winner so you give it a go. It worked for them from a strategy point of view but they had the speed as well.”



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