Vettel an "amazing option" for Mercedes, says Hamilton


As Mercedes' search for a replacement for him continues, Lewis Hamilton believes that four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel would be an "amazing option" for the team.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Vettel was coy when asked about whether he is in the driver market for 2025.

"Well, potentially I am because I haven't got a drive," he replied, "but they question is, am I looking for one?

"I think it depends on the package," he added. "I retired from Formula 1 not to come back, but I also did say that you never know. So I think it still stands.

"Obviously, there's things that I miss, which is mostly the competition. And things that I don't miss, so that hasn't changed. Obviously, life is very different if you're not involved and I do enjoy that still.

"You never know where life is taking you, so maybe it takes me back behind the wheel, maybe it doesn't."

Previously, speaking Sky News, the German admitted talking to Toto Wolff.

"I've had conversations with him," he said, "not really about the seat. We did speak about the whole situation in short as well. But I did speak to others as well because I'm still keeping in touch every now and then. I have some projects and ideas together with F1. We'll see if they will turn out or not.

"I am staying in touch," he added. "I don't know, it has to be a couple more phone calls and conversations, I guess, to really find out a little bit more. But for sure it's one of the best seats on the grid. Performance wise, Mercedes has a great track record, struggling a little bit in the last years, but then struggle and you're still second and third in the constructors' championship, it's not like you're racing in no man's land."

Asked what he missed most about racing, Vettel said: The thrill, the speed. I think the competition mostly, really. Driving quick is not the only thing, but it's really the competition."

"I would love for Seb to come back," said Hamilton in Suzuka, "I think it would be an amazing option for the team. German driver, multi-world championship winning driver, and someone who has amazing values who would continue to take the team forward. I'd love it if he came back."

At a time a number of drivers are being linked with the seat, including his Melbourne nemesis Fernando Alonso, George Russell wasn't entirely convincing when asked about Vettel as a potential teammate.

"Sebastian's a great person and he's a four-time world champion," he said, "and for sure his personality is missed on the grid. I think it's important that we have the best 20 drivers in the world all competing for race wins and championships.

"As I said before, I'm really happy and open to have anybody as my teammate, you know, whether it's world champion, whether it's a rookie, it doesn't change how I go about my business. And yeah, as I said, we'll welcome anybody."

Though admitting to considering a number of drivers, Wolff is thought to favour F2 rookie Andrea Kimi Antonelli, the Austrian mindful of the fact that he previously lost out on a certain young Dutch driver called Max.

"The only thing I really care about is that the team takes on someone that with integrity and that are aligned with the team and where the team's going," said Hamilton. "Someone compassionate that's able to work with great people and continues to lift them up. There's so many great people in this team.

"And as drivers... there are some that are more selfish than others, there are some that are good drivers but perhaps not the best within the team environment, I don't know because I'm not been in with all of them . But I hope they find someone great.

"They've already got George and he's perfect, so finding a good option alongside him I'm sure they've got so many good options. I do think it's always great to give an opportunity to up and coming drivers so the idea of a youngster coming in for me is exciting."

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Published: 04/04/2024
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