Ricciardo says Hamilton ‘maintained a cooler head’ in title battle

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Lewis Hamilton‘s ability to keep cool under the stresses and strains of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship are the reason he suceeded in his battle against Sebastian Vettel says Red Bull Racing‘s Daniel Ricciardo.

During a recent visit to Baku City Circuit to help promote the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Australian gave the gathered media his thoughts on the outcome of the title duel.

“Lewis’s season – I respect that,” said Ricciardo, “He had a great car, but I think Seb’s car was also as good and Lewis just maintained a cooler head, a better level of consistency and composure. You have to respect that.

“He was always very fast and I think he drove a very good season.”

Before the season had started Red Bull were expected to challenge the German behemoth, but a slow start to the season meant they were on the back foot from the start.

“Unfortunately Mercedes has been really strong for the last four years,” said Ricciardo. “They have been the team to beat.

“We thought this year would be a chance for us to really challenge them. We challenged them some races but not enough to fight for the title.

“In the end, myself and Max [Verstappen] were fifth and sixth in the championship so we not come near to what we wanted.

“What we need to do for next year to have a chance is that we need to start the season stronger.

“That’s where we lost a lot of our momentum this year. At the beginning of the season, we were too far behind Mercedes and Ferrari.

“We made a lot of progress, which was really good, so we need to continue that momentum.”