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Hamilton delivers clear verdict on Vettel replacing him at Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton is keen to see Sebastian Vettel return to Formula 1 and has suggested he would be a perfect fit to fill the void when he leaves Mercedes at the end of the year.

Mercedes is searching for a second driver for the 2025 season following Hamilton’s shock decision to exercise a clause in his contract and join Ferrari.

Long-time driver Vettel, meanwhile, has flirted with the idea of an F1 return after hanging up his helmet at the end of the 2022 campaign.

The four-time champion has conceded to a conversation with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, sparking suggestions he could return to the cockpit.

A Vettel comeback would follow in the footsteps of other F1 champions such as Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, who all returned after stepping away.

“You’re always going to miss it,” Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365, of F1’s appeal. “It’s the greatest sport in the world, the greatest experience in the world.

“It’s the most amazing feeling to be working with a group of people towards winning and achieving something.

“For me, there’s nothing that’s ever going to feel the same.”

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Hamilton keen for Vettel return

Hamilton, who shared a strong friendship with Vettel during their years together in F1, believes his fellow champion is a perfect suitor for Mercedes.

“I would love for Seb to come back,” Hamilton said. “I think he would be an amazing option for the team.

“A German driver, a multi-world championship-winning driver. Someone who has got amazing values and can continue to take this team forward, I would love it if he came back.”

Other drivers who have been linked to the seat include Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

While admitting he has no specific driver in mind he would like to see replace him, Hamilton outlined the qualities he hopes Mercedes will look for.

“I think the only thing I would care about is that the team takes on someone with integrity and is aligned with the team and where the team is going,” he said.

“Someone with compassion that’s able to work with really great people and continue to lift them up. There are so many great people in this team.

“As drivers, there are some who are more selfish than others, there are some who are good drivers but perhaps not the best in a team environment.

“They’ve already got George [Russell], he’s perfect for the team, finding a good match beside him, they’ve got so many options.”

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