Ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Mercedes’ seven-time world champion and the winner of a record 103 podium finishes and 103 victories in 300 F1 events that he had participated at his sixteen-year long career, Lewis Hamilton said that Sebastian Vettel is “One of the greatest peope” that F1 has ever had and he used to make him feel Formula One less lonely.
Hamilton, in tandem, added that the 35-year-old German who had announced his retirement from F1 by end-2022 on yesterday, has been one of the very few people who had addressed a swathe of social issues ranging from environmental to charitable activities.
As beforementioned, Vettel, the four-times F1 champion which he had won consecutively between 2010 and 2013 with Red Bull, and has frequently been contemplated as one of the most successful drivers in F1 with 122 podium finishes and 53 wins, had announced on Thursday that he would depart F1 by end-2022.
Hamilton says Vettel makes him feel F1 less lonely
If truth is to be spoken, the 37-year-old Briton and the 35-year-old German stood alongside to bring in changes - for better or worse - on several occasions. Meanwhile, speaking in an interview with a press agency ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian GP, Hamilton opened up on Vettel’s retirement saying, “When I talk about the journey that I've felt I've experienced in this sport and often feeling that it's been relatively lonely, he's one of the few people that's made it not feel lonely.
He stood by me through a lot of things. I always remember 2007, a press conference in Magny-Cours and him being very outspoken in a drivers' briefing and I knew then he would be a powerful figure in the sport. Then seeing his success and seeing that he puts others before himself...
he's been so brave in speaking out and standing for what he believes in. think he's one of the greatest people we've seen in this sport and we need more like him. Sad because I've lost an ally in this side of the sport on the grid, but I know that outside he will be doing great things and we will always remain friends and I hope there are other things we get to do together outside”.
Although, Vettel said his reason behind an early-retirement is to spend more time with his family and charitable activities, the F1 master-mind has long been linked with a number of fundraising campaigns for environmental activist organizations.