Ferrari will be hoping that their bad luck is behind them at the United States Grand Prix this weekend, although they probably prayed for the same at Suzuka a fortnight ago. Traditionally, Ferrari has been stronger on this combination.
Vettel said he was confident he would have a better day on Saturday, when final practice starts at 1700 BST and qualifying at 2200.
For Hamilton, the equation is a simple one. Here is a look at the odds to win this race.
The Briton, the only black driver to have won the Formula One championship, has said that he was focused on winning the race rather than the widespread protests in the United States.
"It doesn't matter which team you go to, there isn't a single team that isn't interested in improving things".
Teammate Valtteri Bottas was less happy with his day after ending FP2 six tenths of a second down on Hamilton, but he said the two Mercedes drivers were trying different things on their cars.
Vettel was caught in a collision with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in Singapore and crashed out on the opening lap, then suffered an engine failure in qualifying in Malaysia that left him last on the grid. We have a great car, we had a package to win the last couple of races. He has recently described his Mercedes as a "diva", good one week, not so good the next. In 2015, Hamilton clinched his third world championship in Austin. So we'd often hit the ground running with a balance I'm more comfortable with, which then naturally helps you easily step forward throughout the weekend in the right direction.
Asked if he could match Mercedes' pace, he said: "When we are on track I think yes".
"It is a track that bodes well for an aggressive driving style".
The first important factor is that the ultra- and supersoft combination of tyre compounds are in the offing this weekend.
It is further evidence of how much Ferrari have flirted with the edge in the design of their 2017 car in their bid to win the title.
He has a chance to do so again this year, if he finishes 16 points ahead of Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel. And assuredly, Ferrari have had a very tough time in the last three races.