home icon / F1 News, Reports and Results / Ricciardo: Hamilton won by keeping a cooler head

Ricciardo: Hamilton won by keeping a cooler head

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing)
© XPB 

Daniel Ricciardo believes that Lewis Hamilton's composure proved key to clinching the 2017 world drivers championship.

The Australian said Hamilton's cooler head had given the Mercedes driver the upper hand in his battle for the title with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

"In the heat of battle he was always very calm and he drove a very good season," Ricciardo commented at a media event in Baku this week. "You have to respect that.

"Lewis maintained a cooler head and a better level of consistency and composure," he added. "For sure he had a good car, but I think Seb's car was also as good.

"The car is a big part of it. But you need to be a good driver to get the equipment to the top. You need both.

"Lewis has won three of the last four championships, but if he was in a midfield team he wouldn't have three of the last four championships.

"It's still a bit more dominant with the car than the driver - I'd say maybe 75 per cent to 25 per cent."

Hamilton and Vettel appeared evenly matched in the first half of the season. But it was at Baku when the first crack appeared in Vettel's composure. He threw away a potential win when he retaliated by banging wheels with Hamilton after feeling the Briton had 'brake tested' him behind a safety car.

Hamilton subsequently upped his game after the summer break. Meanwhile Vettel suffered a crucial setback when he was involved in a first corner accident in Singapore. It allowed Hamilton to pull out a big lead in the championship.

"Lewis, even with the best material, he still had pressure and expectations [on him]," Ricciardo pointed out. "He's had that since he started Formula 1 ten years ago.

"I think he's always been on a very high level," he continued. "He was always very fast and I think he drove a very good season."

"I respect him and take my hat off to him. As a driver he is very competitive," he acknowledged. "He's also got a lot of other distractions in his life and can still perform when it counts."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter