Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has struck quite a friendship with former rival Sebastian Vettel in recent years.
Their bromance is perhaps the most famous and well established among cross-team racers on the circuit currently.
It is certainly a friendship and mutual respect that the F1 community adores, especially in a time where negative stories tend to make a lot more headlines.
As Hamilton and Vettel faced journalists ahead of the season’s final race and Vettel’s final tryst in F1, the nervous energy was there to be felt amongst all present in the room.
“What do I think of Seb? He was a bit of a nuisance back then,” said the Brit.
This paved the way for a gentle sputtering of laughter at the press conference.
Vettel chose to enter the conversation at the point.
“Sorry, it’s your answer, but Baku [their collision in the 2017 race] for me wasn’t a great moment, because what I did wasn’t right, but actually I think from that moment onwards our friendship got better. So I don’t want that to not happen,” he said.
Hamilton believes Vettel could reconsider retirement
Alonso was sitting between the two of them at the event.
Hamilton chose to take the example of the Spaniard in saying that Vettel might reconsider his decision soon enough.
“I agree. We always had such great battles, honestly,” Hamilton said.
“I was just sitting here thinking, most drivers come back – [Alonso] has come back, you’re gonna come back. We’re seeing other drivers coming back, so I’m sitting here accepting it’s his last race, but he’ll be back! Formula 1 has a way of sucking you back in and we’ve noticed that from so many other drivers.”
Vettel then suggested the perfect deal which found Hamilton’s fancy.
“Maybe we can make a deal, we’ll speak outside. When you want to get away maybe I’ll come back,” the German driver said.
“Yeah, we can alternate,” Hamilton laughed.
Alonso talks about Vettel’s journey
Following this, it was Alonso’s turn to pay compliments to Vettel.
“It’s going to be strange to not have him next year, in the first race. So many things have happened over the last 15 years,” Alonso said.
“Sometimes we fought for championships, sometimes for seventh place. We have always enjoyed every single battle and respect each other as much as we could.
“My career is going to be linked to Sebastian in a way, because we fought for many great thinks in the best seasons of our lives.
“Even though the outcome was always on his side, I think my name will be in Sebastian’s career story, and vice versa.”