Here are eight key moments in the 2017 season that marked the rise of the Englishman Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) towards the fourth world champion title of the F1.
AUSTRALIAN GP (26/3): THE NEW RIVAL
Freed from internal competition with German Nico Rosberg, champion with Mercedes in the 2016 season and who retired after the title, was another German, Sebastian Vettel, quadruple world champion with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, which surprised the Briton at the beginning of the year. Ferrari took advantage of the change in technical regulations in the offseason to reign over Mercedes, triple world champion and constructors. Vettel won in Melbourne and Hamilton was his shooting guard.
AZERBAIJAN GP (25/6): THE SKIRT
Behind the safety car, Hamilton, who was leading after 17 laps, braked at the exit of a corner and Vettel, surprised, hit him. Furious, the World Championship leader put his Ferrari at the level of the Briton's Mercedes and made grand gestures with his hand and then, unexpectedly, hit it with the wheel. For this maneuver, Vettel was penalized with a stop-and-go and had to apologize under pressure from the International Automobile Federation (FIA). He finished fourth, just ahead of Hamilton. "I feel like I have disappointed the team, because what I did cost a probable victory"commented the German, who was then 14 points ahead of the Mercedes driver.
GREAT BRITAIN GP (16/7): THE RENAISSANCE
In front of his crowd, Hamilton scored his fifth win at Silverstone, following a disappointing fourth place days earlier in Austria. "This was the spark that lit an inner fire in me", explained the Englishman, who regained his confidence after being concerned about Ferrari's progress. With that win, Hamilton was just one point behind Vettel, who finished seventh after suffering a puncture on the penultimate lap.
BELGIUM GP (27/8): THE ENDURANCE
For his 200th F-1 GP, Hamilton prevailed by resisting Vettel throughout the race, who could never pass him when the gap was almost two seconds between them. His country's press praised his performance at Spa, reaffirming his status as the most accomplished British athlete of his generation, ahead of the tennis player. Andy Murray. During qualifying, the Mercedes driver was imperial and equaled the pole position record of Michael Schumacher. Hamilton, who had also won the Hungarian GP, was seven points behind leader Vettel. Days later, he took the lead in the tournament by winning the Italian GP.
SINGAPORE GP (17/9): COUP OF GRACE
Hamilton, who started in fifth position, achieved an unexpected victory in Singapore. Winner of the pole, Vettel had a catastrophic start in the rain and abandoned the race on the first lap after being involved in a collision with his Finnish teammate. Kimi Räikkönen and the dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull). With this victory, Hamilton took 28 points ahead of Vettel.
MALAYSIA GP (1/10): A COMPETITION THAT WAS NOT ENOUGH
Vettel and Ferrari's chances of winning the crown are beginning to fade. This time, due to a turbocharger problem that prevented him from qualifying and that is why he had to start 20th and last. He rallied to fourth place, while Hamilton finished second behind Verstappen. With these results, the Englishman stretched his lead to 34 units.
JAPANESE GP (8/10): NOT MUCH SPARK
Vettel abandoned at Suzuka on lap four due to a faulty spark plug that Ferrari mechanics failed to replace in time on the starting grid. Hamilton, who started from pole position for the tenth time this season, was infallible and took the win. With this new success he increased his advantage over the German to 59 points.
MEXICO GP (29/10): THE ANGUSTIA DE LA GLORIA
Hamilton arrived at the Mexican GP with the certainty that he could reach the title since a fifth place at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez was enough. But nothing went according to plan: Verstappen, but especially his title rival Vettel, outclassed him. Then a triple touch in the first corners with the same Vettel and Verstappen forced the two great protagonists of the season to return to the pits after the first lap. The simple equation became a race against time to the top. Vettel finished fourth and Hamilton, ninth and that was enough to achieve his fourth title.