London, October 9: Lewis Hamilton has called for title rival Sebastian Vettel to be shown "more respect" after the Mercedes driver extended his Formula One championship lead over the weekend.
Hamilton stretched his advantage to 67 points over Vettel with victory at the Japanese Grand Prix after an error in attempting to overtake Max Verstappen at the Spoon corner sent the Ferrari into a costly spin.
But Briton Hamilton, who could potentially wrap up a fifth drivers' crown in the United States later this month, says Vettel deserves better than to have his mistakes put under the microscope.
"I feel the media need to show a little more respect for Sebastian," he wrote in an Instagram story.
"You simply cannot imagine how hard it is to do what we do at our level, for any athlete at the top of their game that is.
"It is to be expected that being humans we will make mistakes but it is how we get through them that counts."
The season resumes in Austin on October 21.