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Hamilton will enter with three points of advantage in Asia, authentic ‘Vettel zone’

Hamilton will enter with three points of advantage in Asia, authentic ‘Vettel zone’

The English Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who on Sunday took the lead in the Formula One World Championship after shining at Monza, will enter with three points of advantage over the German Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) in Asia, where the next three races of a championship with three more to go in America before closing, on November 26 in Abu Dhabi.

Asia can be considered, in view of the results of recent years, as a true ‘Vettel zone’. The four-time German world champion (2010-13, with Red Bull) is, among all active drivers, the one who has won the next three Grand Prix on the calendar the most times, in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan; where he has climbed to the top of the podium four times in each and every one of them.

The Formula One World Championship will resume in two weekends in Singapore, where except for the German Nico Rosberg – retired five days after winning the last title – all the winners are named Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso. Fernando won the inaugural test of the now traditional night race on the Marina Bay urban track, in 2008; and he repeated his triumph for Spain two years later, when he was driving for Ferrari.

Hamilton, triple world champion, who beat German Michael Schumacher’s all-time pole record at Monza on Saturday, raising it to 69, also extended his number of F1 victories to 59, two of which he achieved in Singapore: one with McLaren, in 2009; and the second with Mercedes, two years ago. Vettel signed his poker at Marina Bay between 2011 and 2013, with Red Bull; and in 2015, with Ferrari.

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The other Spaniard on the track, Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), who just turned 23 at Monza and is facing his third year in F1, always achieved better results in Asia in 2015 than in 2016. The Madrilenian was ninth in 2015 and fourteenth on last year in Singapore, from where F1 will make the leap to Malaysia, the first part of a ‘double program’ to be completed in Japan.

At the Sepang circuit, where it will be raced on the first day of October, the Asturian double world champion is the only one who has won with three different cars. He did it for the first time in 2005, with Renault; he won in 2007, with a McLaren; and a new victory was scored in 2012, aboard a Ferrari. Vettel won his first three Malaysian races with Red Bull (2010, 11 and 13) and his fourth in 2015, signing the first of seven victories he has led with Ferrari (four of them this year).

Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) – fourth in the World Cup, with 144 points, 96 less than Hamilton and 53 of his teammate, the Finnish Valtteri Bottas, second in Monza (where Alonso retired) – won last year in Sepang , track on which Sainz (fourteenth in Italy) was eleventh, a year after finishing eighth.

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Vettel also commands, with four wins, in Japan; where, however, Hamilton and Alonso are the only ones in history to have won both Fuji and Suzuka. The Asturian genius won for the first time in 2006, with Renault, the year of his second world title, at Suzuka; and he repeated with the French team two years later, on the track next to the famous Japanese mountain. Hamilton beat McLaren in 2007, at Fuji; and he won in 2014 and 2015 at Suzuka, where Vettel achieved all four of his victories (2009-10-12-13), all of them for Red Bull.

Sainz – son of the double Spanish world rally champion of the same name – was 10th in 2015 and 17th last year, at Suzuka, where Rosberg won.

Alonso, with 32 wins, sixth in that historic F1 relationship, in which he is third among active, behind Hamilton (59) and Vettel (46), did not achieve brilliant results on any of these tracks the past two seasons. , with McLaren-Honda, where his best places were seventh last year in both Singapore and Malaysia, where in 2015 he retired at both tracks. In Japan it was eleventh in 2015 and sixteenth last year.

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Mexican Sergio Pérez (Force India), seventh in the World Cup, with 58 points; In his seventh year in F1, he has consistently scored in Singapore, where his best results came in 2014 and 2015, when he finished seventh. Last year he was eighth at Marina Bay.

In Sepang, ‘Checo’ achieved in 2012, with a Sauber, the best result of his career, a second -behind Alonso-, which he would repeat that same year precisely in Monza, where on Sunday he finished ninth. He would score twice as much in Malaysia, where he was ninth in 2013 (with McLaren) and sixth last year with his current team.

In Japan, the brave driver from Guadalajara scored three times: he was eighth the year of his debut, tenth in 2014 and seventh last year.

After Japan, the World Cup will change continent again. At the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, the United States Grand Prix will be held on October 22, just a week before the engines roar at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City.

The Interlagos circuit, in Sao Paulo, will host the penultimate Grand Prix, that of Brazil, on November 12, two weeks before the World Cup closes at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. United. EFE

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