The 2010s saw Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel lock horns with Mercedes and Ferrari respectively, after the German had opted to leave Red Bull after winning four consecutive championships.
The 35-year-old failed to recreate his title winning heroics with the Scuderia and eventually moved on to Aston Martin before calling time on his illustrious career.
Hamilton and Vettel came to blows on numerous occasions during their time battling it out for championship glory, with the Brit getting the better of his rival more often than not as Mercedes dominated the previous era of F1.
The pair’s relationship boiled over in Baku after Vettel believed his was brake checked by his rival, but he has now stunning revealed that after Nico Rosberg retired in 2016, there was a genuine chance that himself and Hamilton could have become teammates.
“Maybe there was [a chance], I spoke with Niki [Lauda],” Vettel said.
“Obviously it would have been a big deal, because Lewis was their number one, and I’m not sure whether they would have liked to have us both in the team.
“But I also didn’t have great interest at that time, because I was so committed to Ferrari.”
Vettel has explained that while he was struggling to bring the championship to Ferrari, he was not prepared to give up on his mission with the Scuderia in favour of a championship winning car elsewhere.
“That was my dream to make that thing work so you talk to each other but it wasn’t really serious,” explained the German.
“My focus was to win with Ferrari. I didn’t want to change team and win with Mercedes, but it just didn’t happen. I am cool with that.”
Vettel’s relationship with Hamilton improved drastically towards the end of his career, with the seven-time world champion eventually paying for the meal of every driver on the F1 grid last year to celebrate the career of his former rival.
Hamilton has explained that Vettel’s insistence on doing what is right no matter the consequences inspired him and brought the pair closer together, claiming that the German’s decision to take the knee with him in the midst of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign meant a lot to him.
While Vettel steps away from F1, Hamilton is set to sign a multi-year contract extension with Mercedes, admitting that it is his dream to retire as a world champion.