“A Night I’ll Never Forget”
Lewis Hamilton hosted a farewell dinner for Sebastian Vettel, and the entire Formula 1 grid attended this heartwarming event.
Hamilton also footed the billbut it seemed worth it as all 20 pilots looked delighted in an iconic photo.
The grid paid tribute to four-time world champion Vettel, who announced he would be leaving F1, with his final race of an incredible career coming this weekend in Abu Dhabi.
Vettel, who has the third most wins in the sport’s history, faced veterans Hamilton and Fernando Alonso during a sensational career with Red Bull and Ferrari, and both were there with the rest of the grid .
A number of drivers reposted footage from the event on their social media accounts with tributes to the Aston Martin man, but his fiercest of rivals Hamilton uploaded the most heartfelt of them all.
Sharing a picture of the two together as well as the group, the seven-time champion wrote: “We have come a long way as riders and continue to grow as men.
“Despite everything that can happen on the track, we are growing and getting better every day.
“We all come together to celebrate life and Seb’s incredible F1 career is truly an evening I will never forget.”
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Vettel emerged into the world of F1 in 2007 and won four titles with Red Bull from 2010 to 2013, but it wasn’t until his move to Ferrari that he and Hamilton began to clash regularly.
The Briton prevented his opponent from replicating his hero Michael Schumacher with a championship at Ferrari as they staged several title fights.
But despite several hot moments, including a crash at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the respect has never wavered, as the duo explained to the media on Thursday.
“When I think of Seb he was a little awkward at the time,” Hamilton said when asked about their biggest clashes.
Vettel then took his microphone and said: “Sorry, that’s your answer but I think Baku was not a great moment for me because what I did was not right but from that time…”
“Our friendship has improved!” said Hamilton.
Vettel continued: “Yeah, much better! So I don’t want that to happen if you know what I mean.
Hamilton added: “I’m okay, I’m okay. I think we’ve always had such great battles and I was just sitting here thinking most of the drivers are coming back. You’re coming back. I’m sitting there to accept that this is your last race but you will come back. Formula 1 has a way of sucking you in again.
Vettel then said: “Maybe we’ll make a deal, we’ll talk outside, when you want to leave I’ll be back!”
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