Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are among the most successful drivers in F1, having shaped the sport over the last decade.
Ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian GP, Hamilton spoke about Sebastian Vettel’s legacy, alongside his relationship with the fellow World Champion.
“He has been one of the very, very few drivers in racing history that has stood for much more than just himself.
“When I talk about the journey I’ve experienced in this sport and often feeling it’s been lonely, he’s one of the few people who made it feel not lonely.
“He’s stood by me through a lot of things… seeing his success and seeing him put others before himself. He’s been so brave in speaking out and standing up for what he believes him.
“It’s sad because I would have lost an ally [in F1], but I’ll know on the outside he’ll be doing great things, and we’ll always remain friends. I hope there’ll be things we do together outside", Hamilton is quoted as saying by The Race.
Vettel’s retirement will leave a significant hole in F1 and signifies the final days of an era in which Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel dominated the sport.
Hamilton and Vettel competed in several Championship battles with their respective teams, most recently in 2017 and 2018, when Hamilton’s Mercedes squad faced off against Ferrari’s Prancing Horse.
The relationship between the two reached boiling point in the 2017 Baku GP when Vettel pulled alongside Hamilton and hit him after accusing the Brit of brake-checking him under the Safety Car.
Generally, though, their rivalry has been respectful, so it will be odd to see F1 without both drivers on the grid.