With just five races left, that come in Japan, USA, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, Hamilton tops the standings on 281 points, with Vettel second on 247.
"I heard it's going to rain tomorrow [Friday] so that's going to make it a little bit hard for us to feel whatever set-up we do have". The driver who was on pole for the race, Danial Frost, ended up officially "winning".
"But it's cooler conditions, generally the hotter places we struggle a little bit more, so hopefully it'll bring it back more into our window". But then, the gap went very quickly to two seconds and Verstappen broke the DRS zone, and from there it went up and up and up and got to six, seven, eight, nine, 10 seconds, and you're like, 'wow, this is really going to happen! "There's so many points available and you've seen in other years how the pendulum can swing", added Hamilton.More news: Heading into the postseason, standings show Major League Baseball is awash in great teams
Such was the dominance of the Ferrari on the final race at Malaysia's famed Sepang circuit, except that the only red vehicle that made it to the grid, started from the back.
After being involved in a collision with teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Max Verstappen in Singapore, Sebastian Vettel's championship ambitions took suffered a major blow in Sepang after an engine issue in qualifying forced him to start from the back of the grid. Mercedes had expected to be strong in Sepang but they had difficulty with their vehicle all weekend, leaving Hamilton expressing frustration at the "fundamental issues" that have caused its performances to vary according to conditions and from track to track.
"The Ferraris did bring quite a big upgrade", said the Briton, a three-time victor in Japan.
Quickly promoted from Toro Rosso after a season and four races, the Dutchman, whose dad Jos drove for Red Bull predecessors Stewart GP, attracted attention from both Ferrari and Mercedes for his swashbuckling and fearless style.More news: Pence: America must be 'dominant in space'
"We didn't go as far as we wanted but when it comes to performance and speed I think we're pretty happy", Raikkonen said.
"We can not be distracted by the fact we got lucky again this weekend", said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
"The team remained focused on its job throughout, putting in a great deal of effort working in the garage and then implementing an impeccable strategy", he said.
He added: "We'll have to wait until we're back in the auto [with that gearbox], which will be on Saturday, but it should be fine from what I heard".More news: Raiders lose QB Carr for 2-6 weeks
Fernando Alonso's frustrations at McLaren have sparked more than the occasional tantrum from the Spaniard over the team radio. If the vehicle was ideal every weekend, it would be boring and we are enjoying the fact we are being challenged and that she is not the easiest.
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