The F1 world was saddened over the summer break when Sebastian Vettel announced that we would be retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the season.
The 35-year-old has had a stellar racing career including spells with Red Bull and Ferrari, winning four consecutive championships with the former before ending his career with Aston Martin.
During his younger days, Vettel shared a fierce rivalry with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, as the pair often found themselves battling for championships and coming wheel-to-wheel on numerous race weekends.
The German’s maturity has grown with age and Hamilton has explained that his friendship and respect for Vettel blossomed when he started to use his notoriety for good, kneeling with Hamilton during the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign and often doing everything he could to help anyone he could during the latter stages of his career.
“A man that really generally stands by his word, full of integrity, generally just very, very kind and humble, and full of humility,” described Hamilton.
“I’m really grateful and really honoured actually to have the relationship that I do with him.”
Hamilton has shown his admiration for Vettel in recent weeks, gathering every driver on the grid for a meal to celebrate the German’s career prior to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, even picking up the bill for all 20 drivers.
The seven-time world champion has used 35-year-old Nico Hulkenberg’s return to F1 with Haas next season as a comparison for Vettel, suggesting that he will return to the sport in the future in some capacity.
“I mean, Hulkenberg coming back! There is this whole build up but he’ll be back in one way, shape or form,” claimed Hamilton.
While it seems highly unlikely that F1 fans will ever see Vettel pilot a Formula 1 car again, it has been suggested that the 35-year-old would make a perfect manager in the future, after taking a few years away from the sport to explore other avenues.
Red Bull have claimed that with so many teams under their umbrella, the door will always be open for Vettel to return to the team to begin his management career whenever he feels ready to do so.