'Foolish' to write Hamilton off now - Horner

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says it would be "foolish" to best against Lewis Hamilton winning this year's championship.

Hamilton has slipped 33 points behind team-mate Nico Rosberg after another poor start limited him to third place in the Japanese Grand Prix. As a result, Rosberg can win the championship by finishing second to Hamilton in the remaining races, while even a third place in one would still be sufficient.

However, Horner says the situation can change quickly and pointed to past examples when an unlikely winner has taken the title at the final race.

"I think in any sport you see sportsmen… They get on a crest of a wave and everything falls right for them," Horner said. "It’s going Nico’s way at the moment.

"Lewis has had quite a few tough weekends this year but he’ll brush himself down for sure and he can fight back. He only needs that sniff of something, you know, a DNF for Nico and a win for Lewis and he’s right back in the game again. Things can change so very quickly.

"We saw it from Kimi when he stole the championship from under Lewis and Fernando [Alonso]’s noses 10 years ago or whatever it was. There’s still 100 points available in this championship and I would be a foolish person to rule him out at this stage."

Rosberg has won nine races so far this season compared to six for Hamilton, with Red Bull winning the other two grands prix courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo in Malaysia and Max Verstappen in Spain.

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