F1 News

Vettel was close to becoming Hamilton's teammate

Vettel was close to becoming Hamilton's teammate

16-11-2022 20:01 Last update: 21:42


The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the 299th race for Sebastian Vettel before he retires. In the Beyond the Grid podcast guest, the German driver is candid about talks he had with Niki Lauda who was hoping for a switch to Mercedes.

In the podcast, the retiring Aston Martin driver talks about his talks with Niki Lauda about possibly joining Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton's teammate. Vettel was also polled by the now-defunct Mercedes adviser on whether he would have enjoyed competing against his long-time rival in the same car at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the run-up to his retirement. Vettel and Hamilton have seen plenty of on-track action together over the years after making their F1 debut in the same season in 2007.

'Big deal'

A switch to Mercedes is also no longer in the cards. Vettel announced earlier this year that the 2022 season will be his last before ending his impressive career. Asked in the podcast Beyond The Grid whether there was ever a chance to work with Hamilton at Mercedes, Vettel said: "I don't know, maybe there was. I spoke with Niki but it would have been a big deal because Lewis was kind of their number one and I'm not sure they would have wanted both of us in the team."

Different focus

The German continued that it would have been a great challenge to drive alongside Hamilton. "I think I would have enjoyed that. But it just wasn't meant to be. At that time, my focus was to win with Ferrari and that was my target. I didn't want to change teams and win with Mercedes. Apart from winning that I really love, winning with Ferrari was the big goal and then it just didn't happen," Vettel said.