That’s what Sebastian Vettel has admitted ahead of this weekend’s showdown with the Mercedes man at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton secured the fourth World Drivers’ Championship of his F1 career at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez four weeks ago.
And that triumph came after title rival Vettel failed to finish in the top two of the race, which was won by Max Verstappen.
Vettel had previously suggested he had been on a par with Hamilton all year as he looked to secure his fifth F1 title.
The German has now conceded he tailed off when it came to the business end of the campaign though.
“Lewis probably made fewer mistakes and the best man won in the end,” said Vettel ahead of this Sunday’s race.
“It was toe to toe for most of the season but not for the most important part of the season.”
Vettel hinted Mercedes may have the advantage again when the 2018 season rolls around.
However, he says Ferrari will not give up as they look to close the gap on their F1 rivals.
“The winter gives everyone the opportunity to do everything a lot better, that’s what everyone sets out to do, and we’ll see who achieves that,” Vettel explained to Sky Sports.
“But I’m confident we have the right people on board.
“The spirit is definitely there and already now people are completely fired up for next year.
“We know that we have to make that final step and that final step is the toughest one.
“The opposition is quick, Mercedes is very strong and Red Bull will be more in the mix from the beginning of next year.”
Hamilton has an unassailable 43-point lead over Vettel going into this Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Vettel is almost certain to finish second in the drivers’ standings ahead of Valtteri Bottas though.
Source : EXPRESS