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Vettel an “superb possibility” as Mercedes F1 substitute

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Within the two months since information broke that Hamilton will go away Mercedes after 12 seasons to affix Ferrari subsequent yr, the instability engulfing Pink Bull F1 administration has positioned Max Verstappen and Silver Arrows protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli on the high of the shortlist to exchange the Briton.

The opposite main candidates to associate George Russell are Fernando Alonso, who has up to now shunned committing his future to Aston Martin, and ousted Ferrari racer Carlos Sainz.

Some momentum initially gathered behind four-time F1 champion Vettel popping out of retirement to race for Mercedes, not least due to his common contact with workforce boss Toto Wolff.

Whereas that hearsay did die down, the German’s recent test of a Porsche 963 Le Mans Hypercar plus his outlining the ‘enchantment and curiosity’ of an F1 return has put him again among the many headlines.

Lengthy-time on-track rival Hamilton says he ‘loves’ the concept of Vettel returning to F1, including that he could be an “superb possibility” to exchange him at Mercedes.

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“I might love for Seb to return again,” Hamilton opined. “I feel it will be an incredible possibility for the workforce: German driver, a multi-world championship-winning driver, somebody who’s received superb values, will proceed to take this workforce ahead. I might love if he got here again.”

Discussing the deserves of Vettel’s determination to take a few seasons out, Hamilton reckoned he would solely ever stroll away from F1 when he knew it was for good.

He mentioned: “I’ve by no means considered taking a yr or two off after which coming again [per Vettel]. Once I’m gone, I am hopefully gone for good.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, congratulates Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1, after profitable his seventh championship

Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“You’re all the time going to overlook it. It is the best sport on this planet and it is the best expertise in world. It is probably the most superb feeling to be working with a bunch of individuals in direction of profitable one thing, attaining one thing.

“There’s most likely nothing that is ever going to really feel the identical. I’ve not requested any of the drivers what they’re lacking. I can simply think about.”

Whereas Hamilton was vocally in favour of Mercedes retaining Valtteri Bottas after 2021 fairly than selling then Williams driver Russell, the seven-time world champion reckons Mercedes ought to again younger expertise this time round.

Russell, when requested a few attainable return for Vettel, maintained his stance that he’s prepared to claim himself in opposition to whoever Mercedes picks to be his team-mate.

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“Sebastian’s an incredible particular person,” he mentioned. “He is a four-time world champion and for positive, his persona is missed on the grid.

“I feel it is vital that we have now the perfect 20 drivers on this planet all competing for race wins and championships.

“I am actually comfortable and open to have anyone as my team-mate, whether or not it is a world champion, whether or not it is a rookie – it does not change how I am going about my enterprise.

“We’ll welcome anyone.”

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