Lewis Hamilton says Sebastian Vettel 'would be amazing option for Mercedes'

German driver revealed his looking at a potential comeback in 2025

Sebastian Vettel is being seen as a good option to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. Victor Besa / The National
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Lewis Hamilton has said that retired Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel would be an "amazing option" for Mercedes to fill the Briton's seat next season.

Vettel, 36, said on Wednesday that he was "potentially" in the market for a 2025 comeback and was talking to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and others.

"I would love for Seb to come back and I think he would be an amazing option for the team," Hamilton, who joins Ferrari next season, said at the Suzuka Circuit on Thursday ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

He said the German driver would be good fit for the German manufacturer and that Vettel's racing pedigree would push forward a team trying to revive the form that delivered seven back-to-back drivers championships between 2014 and 2020.

The German won four titles between 2010 and 2013 with Red Bull and has recently had a test with Porsche that could see him race at Le Mans later this year.

Since 2000, three of the six world champions to leave the sport later returned to the grid. Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen all had time away from F1 before being enticed back.

The departing Hamilton said it was never a consideration of his to take time away from the sport, before hailing Vettel as an ideal replacement.

"No, I've never thought about taking a year or two off and then coming back - when I'm gone, hopefully I'm gone for good," he said.

"You're always going to miss it. It's the greatest sport in the world and it's the greatest experience in the world and the most amazing feeling to be working with the people towards winning something.

"Probably there's nothing that's ever going to feel the same. I've not asked any of the drivers what they're missing but I would love for Seb to come back.

"A 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."

Hamilton's Mercedes team mate George Russell also said it would be good to see Vettel back on the track.

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

"I'm really happy and open to have anybody as my team mate, whether it's a world champion or a rookie it doesn't change how I go about my business."

Meanwhile, triple world champion Max Verstappen reiterated that he could walk away from F1 when his Red Bull contract expires in 2028, but insisted he was "very happy" at the team.

The Dutchman won the first two grands prix of the season but he has endured weeks of off-track turbulence at Red Bull.

He suggested in Saudi Arabia last month that he would consider leaving if the team parted company with long-term mentor Helmut Marko.

It followed his father Jos claiming that Red Bull faced being "torn apart" if team boss Christian Horner remained in his position.

Asked ahead of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix if he would still be with the team next year, Verstappen said: "I'm very happy where I'm at, and we want to keep it that way."

"I have a contract with Red Bull until '28 - after that, I first want to see if I even want to continue," he said.

"That's for me the most important - it's not so much about where. These kind of things I don't really think about at the moment."

Updated: April 04, 2024, 11:33 AM