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Hamilton hails four-time champion Vettel as ‘an amazing option’ for Mercedes in 2025

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Lewis Hamilton has given his backing to Sebastian Vettel as he fielded questions over who could replace him at Mercedes for the 2025 season, saying he would “love” to see the German make a Formula 1 comeback.

Vettel called time on his illustrious F1 career at the end of 2022, having made almost 300 starts and racked up four world titles, 53 wins, 122 podiums, 57 pole positions and more than 3,000 points.

READ MORE: Vettel says F1 return could be ‘appealing and interesting’ as he reveals talks with Mercedes boss Wolff

However, following on from a recent endurance test with Porsche, the 36-year-old has admitted that a return to the sport could be “appealing”, having also held general talks with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

Wolff is searching for another driver to slot in alongside George Russell from next year, with seven-time world champion Hamilton having decided to make the switch to Ferrari, where he will replace Carlos Sainz.

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With the likes of Kimi Raikkonen, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso all returning to the sport after sabbaticals, Hamilton was asked about F1’s ever-lasting appeal and the chances of Vettel doing the same.

“You’re always going to miss it,” said Hamilton. “It’s the greatest sport in the world and it’s the greatest experience in the world. It’s the most amazing feeling to be working with a group of people towards winning something, achieving something.

READ MORE: Hamilton certain Mercedes will win another championship as he outlines ‘challenge’ ahead at Ferrari

“Probably there’s nothing that’s going to ever feel the same. I’ve not asked any of the drivers what they’re missing, but I can just imagine.

“But I would love for Seb to come back. I think he would be an amazing option for the team, to have a multi world championship-winning driver, someone who’s got amazing values to continue to take this team forwards… I would love it if he came back.”

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Hamilton was then asked how much thought he is giving to the driver who will replace him, and whether it should be an experienced pair of hands such as Vettel, or potentially a newcomer such as Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Anontelli – to which he also implied support for the latter.

“I think the only thing I really care about is that the team takes on someone with integrity and values that are aligned with the team, where the team is going,” he said. “Someone with compassion that’s able to work with all these great people, continue to lift them up.

READ MORE: 5 bold F1 driver moves that paid off – and 5 that didn’t – as Hamilton makes his Ferrari call

“As drivers there are some that are more selfish than others, there are some that are good drivers but perhaps not the best within team environments. I don’t know because I’ve not been in with all of them. They’ve already got George and he’s perfect for the team.

“I’m sure they’ve got so many options. I do think it’s always great to give an opportunity to an up-and-coming driver, so the idea of a youngster coming in I think, for me, is exciting.”

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