Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (37) very much regrets the end of his Formula 1 colleague Sebastian Vettel (35). "It will be sad to see him go," Hamilton said of the Aston Martin driver, according to the Daily Mirror. "It was an unexpected relationship and friendship. It's so difficult when you're so competitive and fighting for something you care about." The Brit and the German had been bitter title rivals for most of the time since 2007. Hamilton became world champion seven times and Vettel four times. But the sporting aspect wasn't the only thing that connected the two.
Both have repeatedly campaigned vehemently against social problems. They repeatedly used their reach against various forms of discrimination and for more equality. They knelt down together in protest before the races. Hamilton has not forgotten his former rival. "Of all the drivers I've raced with, Seb was the first to stand by me and kneel with me," said the 37-year-old. "He's the first to stand up for things he cares about. I don't think I've seen a rider in the history of the sport do what he and I did, which is use the platform to be open and take that risk. I really see him as an ally."
The German surprisingly announced the end of his career after the season at the end of July. "I love this sport. It's been at the center of my life for as long as I can remember. But there's my life on the track and my life off the track. Being a racer has never been my only identity," he said in a video via Instagram announced. He is not just a racing driver, but also "the father of three children and the husband of a wonderful woman" with whom he wants to spend more time. That no longer fits with the effort required for his Formula 1 career. He wanted to see his two daughters and his son "grow up, pass on my values to them, listen to them and no longer have to say goodbye," said the four-time world champion.
He probably doesn't want to let his social commitment rest. He has also been campaigning against climate change and for sustainability for some time now. The hashtag "There is still a race to win" in his farewell video indicates this. His friend Lewis Hamilton should have liked that too. Vettel has two more races to go until the end of his career.