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Lewis Hamilton Number 1 Role Pushed Sebastian Vettel Away From Mercedes Opportunity: “It Would Have Been a Big Deal”

Published 01/02/2023, 10:35 AM EST

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Sebastian Vettel arrived at Ferrari in 2015 after a disappointing 2014 season with Red Bull. And while he couldn’t win a fifth championship, he surely had his dream come true by driving for the Italian giants. With Ferrari, Vettel matured and gave us one of the greatest rivalries, against Lewis Hamilton, in modern F1. In 2017, the two drivers gave us an exciting season, which Lewis won by dominating the latter half of the season. Now imagine if the two of them came together.

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Was there ever a possibility? Could Vettel have joined Mercedes and left Ferrari? Well, according to the German himself, there surely was a chance. The pairing, however, would have certainly been challenging for Mercedes, which Seb believes drove him away from further talks.

via Reuters

As per, Sebastian Vettel, on Beyond the Grid podcast, opened up about his time in Formula 1 and the possibility of joining Mercedes at one point in his career. He revealed that he had talks with Mercedes team non-executive chairman Niki Lauda about the possibility of joining the team. 


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He said, “Maybe there was an opportunity, and I talked to Niki about it, but to be honest, I was halfway through my experience with Ferrari. Obviously, it would have been a big deal, also because Lewis was their number one and I don’t know if they would have both wanted to have us on the team.” [Translated using Google]

What did Sebastian Vettel think of the prospect of driving alongside Lewis Hamilton?

Vettel’s missed opportunity with Mercedes raises the question of how he might have fared alongside Hamilton, widely considered one of the greatest drivers in F1 history. It’s a tantalizing prospect for fans, and one can’t help but wonder what might have been if Vettel had joined the team.


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Speaking about the prospect, Vettel said, “I think it would have been a great challenge to be Lewis’ teammate, and I think I would have liked it, but it wasn’t fate. At that moment, as I said, my goal was to win with Ferrari. I didn’t want to change teams and win with Mercedes, and that’s fine with me”.


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The dismissal of the talks as ‘nothing serious’ shows the faith and loyalty of the German driver. Despite their best efforts, the project was unable to compete with Mercedes’ juggernaut over the years.


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WATCH THIS STORY: Lewis Hamilton & Co Gather Around the Dinner Table for Sebastian Vettel’s Last Supper

Hamilton has consistently proven to be a formidable competitor, and it’s likely that he would have given Vettel a run for his money. It’s always difficult to predict the outcome of these hypothetical scenarios, but one thing is certain: a Vettel-Hamilton partnership at Mercedes would have been must-see racing.

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Written by:

Manan Goel


One take at a time

Manan Goel is a Formula 1 author at EssentiallySports. As a literature student at Delhi University, he had been a geek for fiction and a nerd for sports. He claims Sebastian Vettel was his first love after seeing him at the Indian Grand Prix, and he has been a fan of the sport and Red Bull ever since.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh