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Hamilton would have beaten Vettel in Brazil, warns di Montezemolo

Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari president
© XPB 

Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has warned Ferrari not to get carried away by its victory in Brazil at the weekend.

Sebastian Vettel was able to pass the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas heading into the first corner. After that it appeared that the Mercedes had nothing with which to fight back.

"Brazil was a great day for us," Vettel told Italian radio Rai. "Now I hope we can look good in Abu Dhabi and then win the world title next year."

But di Montezemolo warned that the outcome would have been very different if Lewis Hamilton hadn't been forced to start from the pit lane after crashing at the start of qualifying. The Briton fought back to finish in fourth place.

"I am delighted with Ferrari's victory," di Montezemolo told Radio Capital "[But] I think that in Brazil, Hamilton would have won if he had started from pole."

He added that the team shouldn't take Sunday's result as a sign that it was ready to contend for the 2018 season. He pointed to the Scuderia's uneven form in the second half of the year as a cautionary tale.

"Ferrari had a good season, but unfortunately did not win the title," he cautioned.

"Unlike finance and economics, sport is not an exact science," he continued. "It is easy to talk but much more difficult to win.

Di Montezemolo has not been on good terms with his successor Sergio Marchionne. But he's not the only Italian F1 personality to caution Ferrari about reading too much into the Brazil win.

"We are all happy with Ferrari's victory," said former Benetton F1 team boss Flavios Briatore. "But we must not forget that [Hamilton] was out [of contention]. And we all saw his comeback."

Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle also felt that Ferrari needed to be wary about their prospects for 2018.

"Seb Vettel drove an Alain Prost-like race out front," he wrote after the race. "It was a well-judged victory. [But] it was all curiously low key at Ferrari post-race despite it being his first victory since Hungary.

"I guess this race victory was more of a reminder that they collectively let the championship slide away.

"Hamilton's new engine and maximum attack pace at least gave Ferrari, Renault and Honda a clue as to how much power and efficiency they need to find this winter.

"And I doubt the GPS and sound analysis will make for happy reading - unless you're in Brixworth!"

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