Hamilton: Vettel is ‘one of the best people you’ve seen in F1’

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are undoubtedly the two great figures in Formula 1 over the past 15 years, if only because they have won 11 titles together during that time. Although their path is different, they started in F1 in the same year, 2007, and often found themselves on the track. Although the Brit has just surpassed the 300 grand prix milestone at the age of 37, the announcement of the retirement of his colleague two years his junior is sad but not entirely surprising.

“I knew it was going to happen because there had been hints, but it’s a different matter when it comes to actualization.”he said at a press conference this Thursday at the Hungaroring. “And I would just say, of course, my first feeling is that it’s sad to see him stop. And then I didn’t have much time to think about how far we’ve come together. But when I talk about my journey in this discipline and the fact that I often felt like I was relatively alone, I would say that he is one of the few people who made it possible for me not to feel lonely. He supported me in many things.”

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“I still remember 2007, the press conference at Magny-Cours and his frankness during the drivers’ briefing. I knew then that he was going to be an important figure in this sport. But after seeing his success and seeing that he was changing put it in front of himself, he was brave enough to speak his mind and stand up for what he believes in. We’re talking about legends of our sport.”

“I don’t really like that name or that title to be honest. I think he’s one of the best people we’ve seen in this discipline. And we need more people like him. I’m sad because I’m going to do it “I’ve lost an ally within the discipline, on the starting lineup. But I know he’ll do great things outside. And I hope we’ll always be friends. I hope so “There will be other things we can do together outside.”

When asked what made Vettel such a formidable opponent on track, Hamilton replied: They’ve had the opportunity to fight for the same title multiple times over the years: “The racing part of things, I mean he was just incredibly fast. He’s very, very smart. A very good engineer I think. Very, very precise on the track. He was just a great competitor. Very fair “Playful, but also very solid, firmly on the track. He was never one to blame others for his mistakes, he always took responsibility for his mistakes, which I always found honorable.”

On the development of their relationship, the seven-time champion explains: “I think when you’re focused on winning championships and like that, when we were younger, obviously we didn’t have time to stop and talk about what we’re doing in our personal lives or what’s important to us.”

“And so over time we started seeing each other and taking these bold steps and standing up for the things that we believe in and we were able to support each other. He was so supportive of me. I think I supported him too, and I realized that we had a lot more in common than just the passion that drives us. It was really him who put himself in an awkward situation and tried to make something out of the platform we have. And I think that’s why for me it’s so different from all the other drivers that have been here. Past and present.”

I really hope we see more people like him. But I can’t guarantee it because I think it’s someone rare

Lewis Hamilton on Sebastian Vettel

“I don’t know what his plans are yet”he added. “I haven’t spoken to him about his plans for the future. But I know that if he gives everything like he did here, everything he does will be great. With the courage and sheer determination he had.”

“I really hope that … at the end of the day I think that in general we often stand on the shoulders of the greats of the past. Whether in this discipline or in other sports. I really think…I really hope that it inspires the next generation, be it the current one or the one to come, to use their platform more confidently and to realize that it’s not just about them and their car, it’s about something big , much bigger than just being here. I really hope we see more people like him. But I can’t guarantee that because I think he’s a rare person.

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