4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has revealed that he was cheered up by Lewis Hamilton, who has been arguably his greatest rival in the sport in the last 5-years after his contract with Ferrari wasn't renewed in 2020.
“He always cheered me up,” said the 33-year old German. “We had a few more conversations or wrote to each other. He always cheered me up and motivated me to go on. I had several reasons to congratulate him on his great performance and Lewis would often have a reason to feel sorry for me [laughs]. Because of Corona, we couldn't have conversations in the paddock this season,” he further said.
Vettel's contract wasn't extended after Ferrari saw a massive drop in engine performance post a technical directive by the FIA at the end of the 2019 Formula 1 season. This coupled with the fact, that Vettel was seemingly outperformed by rookie Charles Leclerc, a change in the management at Ferrari and many errors by him in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons — the German was seemingly given the boot from the iconic prancing horse.
Luckily for the German, his stock as a 4-time world champion and the fact that he remains one of the most experienced drivers on the grid made him an attractive choice for the Racing Point F1 team which rebrands to Aston Martin in 2021. He leaves Ferrari though with a huge pay cut with him seemingly accepting just 14 million euros instead of his astronomical 37 million euros.
Hamilton and Vettel have largely been very cordial and friendly which even came to light when the 35-year-old brit, equalled Michael Schumacher's record of most world titles at the Turkish GP. Though things between the two weren't always great as in 2017 when Vettel ran Hamilton close for the world title famously ramped his Ferrari into the Mercedes of the brit during the safety car period of the Azerbaijan GP when he believed to have been brake tested.