Vettel: Hamilton encouraged me to not retire

Sebastian Vettel has revealed that Lewis Hamilton gave him some motivating words after confirmation Ferrari was letting him go at the end of 2020.

Scuderia Ferrari announced that it would not be renewing with the four-time champion in May, before the start of his sixth season.

While Vettel contemplated retirement, he eventually signed on with Racing Point, which will become the Aston Martin F1 Team in 2021.

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“Lewis called me just after the bad news in the spring,” Vettel told Swiss newspaper Blick.

“We then had a few more conversations or wrote to each other. He always cheered me up and motivated me to keep going.

“And I had several reasons to congratulate him on his great achievements. Lewis would often have had a reason to feel sorry for me,” he laughed.

“Because of Corona, the joint discussions in the paddock had to be cancelled this season.”

About the seriousness of his thoughts on retirement, the now 33-year-old said, “Since I no longer had a future at Ferrari, the question immediately arose: What are you doing in 2021?

“And since the big seats were all occupied, I had to think for a long time. Of course, a resignation cannot be ruled out.

“Formula 1 has been the focus of my life for over 10 years,” he added.

“But there are also many other and above all more important things in life than our sport.

“Nevertheless, I have come to the conclusion that there is still something in me that wants to continue. And that is why the contact with the new Aston Martin team took place.”