Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton of Britain in action during third practice at the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix in Sepang October 1, 2016. However, the return of the French and German Grands Prix next year means the total number of races will increase to 21 in 2018.
Asked about his comments on the opening day of the Malaysia GP weekend, Hamilton did not elaborate on Vettel specifically, but said: "We all have weak spots and part of the process of fighting a competitor is always to try and find the exposed areas".
Formula One is losing one of its toughest races with the departure of Malaysia from the calendar after this weekend's grand prix, triple world champion Lewis Hamilton said on Tuesday.
"This will also give youths an opportunity to witness the success of the country in organising world class international events".
In a chat show interview in the days after the race, Hamilton said it was "great to have seen some of the weaknesses come through this year" from his four-time champion rival.
The heat, the hard work and the thick overalls can be quite a stifling combination, as Verstappen explains.
2013 saw Sebastian Vettel perform one of the most shocking, and possibly reputation-damaging moves of his career.
"There's lots of turning points within a year", he told reporters.
Vettel can take some heart from the fact the race he needs to begin his comeback at is Malaysia.
Somewhat of a rarity in modern F1, the Sepang Circuit encourages overtaking and features a breathtaking combination of high- and low-speed corners, punctuated by the two long straights either side of the tight final hairpin.
"We are going to feel it on Sunday afternoon, but that's I guess what we prepare for.it's a painful one, but it's a good pain and you deal with it and I feel I definitely thrive in the hotter conditions".
As Mercedes and Scuderia Ferrari battle for the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship, there is another spirited battle behind these two juggernauts where teams' fortunes rise and fall with each grand prix.
Vettel left Singapore without speaking to the media following the stewards' investigation having previously offered little insight into what happened.
"Like Singapore, Malaysia will be a first for me as I've never raced there before".
What next - a Mercedes with a Megalosaurus on it? With not enough time to allow the track to dry before darkness fell, only half the championship points were awarded.
Constructed in an astonishing 14 months, Sepang was the first Formula One track noted designer Herman Tilke built from scratch. It's seem engines explode, rain-related red flags and champagne-soaked shoes.
The session on Saturday September 30 will get underway at 5pm local time in Malaysia - or 10am in the UK.