Lewis Hamilton not accepting Sebastian Vettel’s retirement

Sebastian Vettel will be retiring from Formula 1 after the 2022 Abu Dhabi GP, and Lewis Hamilton has had his say on the matter.

It looks like the 2022 Formula 1 season finale will by far be one of the most emotional in recent memory, with a whole heap of drivers set to sit in the cockpit for potentially the last time.

Nicholas Latifi is, of course, departing Williams after Abu Dhabi and looks set to go to IndyCar, whilst Mick Schumacher is looking at a probable role as Mercedes’ reserve driver next season.

Daniel Ricciardo is arguably the first of the big hitters that’ll result in some tears being shed, due to the 33-year-old taking a sabbatical from the sport at the end of the year.

Whilst it is only a sabbatical, there is no guarantee that he’ll return to the sport in a full-time role, given how challenging it is to get a seat in the current climate of the sport.

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It’s predicted that he’ll be returning to Red Bull in 2023 to become their reserve driver, potentially taking on the role that Juri Vips held before being dropped by the Austrians following a streaming incident.

But the big name that is retiring after Sunday is Sebastian Vettel, meaning that the sport is losing statistically the third greatest driver in the history of F1.

The four-time World Champion is loved by all the drivers, with a F1 family meal having taken place on Thursday evening, where all 20 drivers were captured around a dinner table having an incredible evening.

Only Vettel could get all the drivers together for dinner, with it unlikely to happen for any other driver.

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The 53-time Grand Prix winner is somewhat the peacemaker of the paddock, with Max Verstappen having revealed that Vettel waited for him to return from hospital at the 2021 British Grand Prix.

Vettel’s imminent departure will leave a gaping hole in the sport that arguably may never be filled, given how liked and respected the 35-year-old is.

Former rival turned friend, Lewis Hamilton, is convinced, though, that it won’t be a goodbye forever from Vettel.

The seven-time World Champion is fully convinced that Vettel will return to the sport in the future, after being adamant that he’ll “be back”.

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Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica, Kevin Magnussen and Michael Schumacher are just some of the names who have left the sport and then returned at one point or another, with Hamilton certain Vettel will be added to the list of drivers who left but soon returned.

“I was just sitting here thinking… most drivers are coming back, like… he’s coming back. You’re probably going to come back,” Hamilton said in the pre-race press conference.

“I’m sitting here accepting ‘yes it’s your last race but… you’ll be back.”