Lewis Hamilton: 'Title hopes not over for Sebastian Vettel'

Lewis Hamilton says that his championship rival Sebastian Vettel cannot be written off.

Lewis Hamilton has said that his championship rival Sebastian Vettel cannot be written off.

In Singapore, as he extended his winning streak to a hat-trick, Mercedes's Hamilton pulled out a 28-point lead over Vettel, Ferrari's former championship leader.

Niki Lauda, the Formula 1 legend and Mercedes team chairman, thinks that Vettel's first corner crash on Sunday cost the German dearly.

"28 points is not bad for us," Lauda told Auto Motor und Sport.

"Until now, it was always two or three points in one direction or the other, but 28 is a cushion.

"I would say this was a small preliminary decision."

Briton Hamilton, however, does not agree.

"Coming up we have Japan where you need a lot of downforce, so that definitely won't be our strongest circuit," he is quoted as saying by Bild.

"In Brazil the others will be strong as well, and in Mexico the teams with the most downforce could have the upper hand.

"Honestly I think it's going to be very close. It's hard to predict. We'll find out when we get there."

Next up is the Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend.

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Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari looks on as he sits in the garage during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 5, 2015
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