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Hamilton beats Vettel on Top Gear appearance

ESPN Staff
February 18, 2013 « Pressure is off - Horner | Pirelli expects more productive test »
Lewis Hamilton went over a second faster than Sebastian Vettel © Sutton Images
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Lewis Hamilton marked his return to BBC's Top Gear with the fastest time by a Formula One driver, knocking Sebastian Vettel off top spot.

Having previously appeared on the show in 2007 to drive the "reasonably-priced car" - a Suzuki Liana - Hamilton's best time of a 1:44.7 was set on a wet track. That put him fifth on the Formula One leaderboard, with Sebastian Vettel setting the fastest time of 1:44.0.

Hamilton returned to the show on Sunday night to discuss his move to Mercedes and set a time on a dry track and clocked a 1:42.9s to beat Vettel's best by 1.1s. The time leaves him in top spot ahead of Vettel, Rubens Barrichello (1:44.3), The Stig (1:44.4) and Nigel Mansell (1:44.6).

After being told of his time Hamilton admitted that he had been kept in the dark since completing the run.

"I'm really surprised!" Hamilton said. "It's been months and you guys (Top Gear) wouldn't even tell me and I was thinking to myself 'I'm going to be so disappointed if I didn't do a competitive time'".

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