Press hails epic Hamilton-Vettel duel

F1's international press has hailed the return of a close battle for the world championship.

In recent years, Mercedes has utterly dominated at the front, but this year Lewis Hamilton is fighting back at Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel's points lead after five races.

Italy's La Repubblica said the Spanish grand prix last weekend "rekindled memories of the past after years of boredom in formula one".

Indeed, even with the top teams unveiling major car improvements for Barcelona, Hamilton noted that "It's strange that we are still within a tenth of a second".

"This is what we want to see in formula one," his boss Toto Wolff added.

Germany's Bild agreed after Barcelona: "This is Hamilton's toughest fight -- wheel to wheel victory against Vettel.

"For three years he raced only against Rosberg but it is obvious that only now is he having to give everything to win."

L'Equipe, the famous French sports daily, added: "This was a rarely spectacular, dramatic, exciting grand prix with a formidable winner. But the difference with the man in red was ultimately tiny."

La Gazzetta dello Sport, another famous sports newspaper from Italy, noted: "Hamilton and Vettel is an epic rivalry that reminds of Federer and Nadal, or Ronaldo and Messi.

"Vettel fought like a warrior, wheel to wheel with Hamilton who has rediscovered the intensity of his golden days."

And Corriere della Sera continued: "Hamilton celebrated at the end, but this world championship is open as never before.

"They are two champions who could not be more different in character but each testify that even in a technological F1, the drivers are still crucial."

(GMM)

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