Formula 1: Vettel’s resignation: Hamilton has recognized “hints”.

When Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement at the end of this Formula 1 season last week, it caused regret throughout the paddock. Many driver colleagues congratulated the German on his unique career and stated that Formula 1 would not only miss him in sport.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said when asked whether he would remember Sebastian Vettel more than the driver: “Yes, one hundred percent.”

“I somehow knew it was coming, because there were hints, but the implementation is a different matter,” he comments on the resignation announcement and adds: “Of course it makes me sad that he’s stopping.”

Vettel “strong personality” in this sport

“Speaking about the journey I’ve had in this sport, which I’ve often found to be relatively lonely, I would say he’s one of the few people who made sure I didn’t feel lonely. He helped me in many things,” says the seven-time world champion.

“I remember the 2007 press conference at Magny Cours and he was very, very open at the drivers’ briefing. I knew then that he was going to be a strong personality in the sport. He put others ahead of himself and was so brave to speak his mind and stand up for what he believes in.”

“We’re talking about legends in our sport. I don’t really like this title to be honest,” admits Hamilton. “But I think he’s one of the greatest people we’ve seen in this sport. And we need more like him.”

Hamilton sees Vettel as his ally

He was sad to lose “an ally within the sport,” Hamilton continued. “But I know that he will achieve great things outside of sport. And I hope that we will always be friends. I hope that we can do other things together outside of racing.”

As far as encounters on the track are concerned, the Briton remembers above all that Vettel was “simply incredibly fast”. “He’s very, very intelligent. A very good engineer, I think. Very, very precise on the track.”

“He was just a great, all-round competitor. Very fair, but also very strong and determined on the track. He was never someone to blame others for mistakes. He always put his hand up and said it was his fault , which I have always considered honorable.”

Mutual support has grown

When asked how their relationship has changed over the years, Hamilton says, “I think if you focus on winning championships, obviously when we were younger we didn’t have time to stop and talk about what we do in our own lives or what is important to us.”

“And so over time we started seeing each other, taking these bold steps and standing up for things that we believe in. He was very supportive of me. I think I was supportive of him as well and realized that we had a lot have more in common than just a passion for driving.”

“It was him who really got into the uncomfortable light and tried to do something with the platform that we have. And I think that’s why, to me, he’s different from all the other drivers that have been here, so different. Then as now.”

What Vettel remembers most

Nevertheless, as Vettel himself emphasizes, it was time to make room. “I think we all have a limit,” says the German. “It’s good that there’s new talent. They’re doing well. And the time, today and tomorrow, is theirs. That’s the way it is.”

“We all have our time. And I think the most important thing is that we make the most of it and enjoy it and then move on and make room for the next ones.”

For him, “the memories, the emotions, the ups and downs, the people I met weigh even more than the victories and trophies,” Vettel continues, “and of course Lewis is one of the central figures in recent years. “

“The friends I’ve made that stay. It would be a much harder decision if you gave it all up and lost all those people. Of course I won’t see them as regularly as I do now. But it’s the friendships that People and the relationships that last.”

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