Lewis Hamilton celebrates becoming a six-time F1 world champion on Sunday. Picture: REUTERS
Lewis Hamilton celebrates becoming a six-time F1 world champion on Sunday. Picture: REUTERS

Sebastian Vettel said on Monday that he told Lewis Hamilton "he deserved it all" after the British Mercedes driver clinched his sixth world title at the US Grand Prix.

Hamilton finished second behind Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in Austin on Sunday and was in the cool-down room after the race when Ferrari's four-time champion Vettel dropped in to whisper in his ear.

Vettel, for several years Hamilton's fiercest on-track rival, had retired early in the race after his car's suspension failed on the bumpy Circuit of the Americas.

"I think now is the time for you to write as many good things as you can," Vettel informed reporters, referring to what he said to Hamilton.

"If somebody wins the title six times, he deserves all of it. That's what I told him as well.Obviously I'm happy for him," he added.

"I'm not happy that we are not in contention this year and we were so far back, but you need to respect what he achieved these last years and, also, this year, together with his team how strong they have been. I'm happy for him but less happy for us."

Vettel's Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc said: "On my side, I didn't even win one world title... To win six is just incredible." I think he deserves it. He has done an incredible season. I grew up watching him on the TV and, yeah, just a huge congratulations."

Hamilton has moved one title ahead of the Argentine Juan Manguel Fangio and within one title of German Michael Schumacher.

The 34-year-old Briton has 83 wins from 248 races, only eight adrift of Schumacher's record of 91, and a record 87 pole positions.

- AFP

Verstappen upsets Ferrari with ‘cheating’ comments

Ferrari have responded angrily after Red Bull driver Max Verstappen suggested the Italian team's poor performance at the US Grand Prix was linked to Formula One's governing body closing a potential engine loophole.

Seldom far from controversy, Verstappen angers Ferrari with suggestions that they cheated. Picture: REUTERS
Seldom far from controversy, Verstappen angers Ferrari with suggestions that they cheated. Picture: REUTERS

Ferrari had racked up six straight pole positions, and shown impressive straight line speed, before Mercedes were back on top in the race in Austin with Valtteri Bottas winning from the front of the grid.

Ferrari were off the pace on Sunday while Bottas led teammate Lewis Hamilton, who clinched his sixth world title, in a one-two with Verstappen third.

Formula One's governing body issued a technical directive before the race in response to a Red Bull query, ruling out a sophisticated way of increasing the fuel flow to boost performance.

Asked afterwards in a news conference whether he was surprised by Ferrari's lack of performance and could offer an explanation, third-placed Verstappen suggested they had been bending the rules.

"Not surprised, at all, about it. After what came out. So that explains everything," replied the Dutch 22-year-old. In a separate interview with Dutch television, he used the word "cheating".

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said he was disappointed by the comments.

He pointed out that Sebastian Vettel had missed pole by a mere 0.012 seconds and that Charles Leclerc raced with an old engine after problems in final practice.

"If we look at the race, certainly the speed on the straight was not our issue and we had clear problems with grip on the car on the first stint on both drivers," Binotto told reporters.

"I feel the comments are completely wrong and it is not good for the sport and everybody should be a bit more cautious," added the Italian.

He had said earlier in the week that Ferrari's engine was completely legal and the team were annoyed by continuing paddock rumours.

Leclerc, who finished fourth and 52 seconds behind Bottas, said Verstappen's comments were "a joke".

"He has no clue. He is not in the team. I don't know why he is speaking, he doesn't know anything about us," said the Monegasque.

- Reuters

Alex caps a triumphant year for the Marquez brothers

Spaniard Alex Marquez followed in the footsteps of older brother Marc on Sunday by winning the Moto2 championship at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Marc Marquez celebrates second place with his brother and Moto2 championship winner Alex Marquez after the race. Picture: REUTERS
Marc Marquez celebrates second place with his brother and Moto2 championship winner Alex Marquez after the race. Picture: REUTERS

Marc, who won his sixth MotoGP title with the Repsol Honda works team in Thailand last month, was also crowned Moto2 champion in 2012.

Both brothers have also won what is now known as Moto3, with 23-year-old Alex crowned champion in 2014 and 26-year-old Marc taking the 125cc title on his way up through the ranks in 2010.

Alex, riding for the Marc VDS Moto2 team with whom he is set to stay next year to defend the title, finished second to South African race winner Brad Binder on Sunday to be sure of the crown with a round to spare and an unbeatable lead of 28 points.

His title repeated the brothers' 2014 feat of both winning world championships in the same season.

"He is not 'the brother of'. He is Alex Marquez and he is the world champion two times in Moto3 and Moto2," said proud Marc, who celebrated with his sibling.

Marc finished second in Sunday’s Malaysian MotoGP, behind Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, with Andrea Dovizioso third for Ducati.

Rallycross title fight comes to a head in Cape Town

The Sabat Rallycross of South Africa will bring the FIA World RX Championship to a conclusion at the Killarney International Raceway in Cape Town this Saturday and Sunday.

High-flying international Rallycross action comes to Cape Town on November 9 and 10. Picture: SUPPLIED
High-flying international Rallycross action comes to Cape Town on November 9 and 10. Picture: SUPPLIED

The highlight of the weekend will be the world title deciding fight between a group of 447kW World Rallycross Supercars that accelerate to 100km/h in 1.9 seconds — faster than a Formula 1 racer.

Racing in a series of heats on a mixed tar and dirt surface, with Swede Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208) holding a single point’s championship advantage over Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud (Audi S1).

The main curtain raiser for the weekend will be the international championship for 230kW RX2 machines, as Swede Oliver Eriksson comes to Cape Town in a 14-point championship advantage over Finn Jesse Kallio.

The international action will be rounded off by races for Speed Car buggies backed up by races for two Cape Rallycross classes catering for two-litre front wheel-drive machines and three litre rear wheel-drive BMW E36 Cup 'big sixes’.

Find out more about World Rallycross Cape Town at www.fiaworldrallycross.com. Tickets are available at www.quicket.co.za.