Lewis Hamilton: Sebastian Vettel return to F1 would be ‘amazing option’ for Mercedes for 2025 | F1 News

Lewis Hamilton says he “would love” for Sebastian Vettel to return to Formula 1 and the four-time champion would be an “amazing option” to succeed him at Mercedes.

Hamilton, who has signed with Ferrari from 2025, also said he would like to see Mercedes replace him with “someone with integrity and values that are aligned with the team and where the team is going”.

Vettel retired from F1 at the end of 2022 but, having never absolutely closed the door to a future return, told Sky Sports on Wednesday that he was thinking about the possibility of a comeback and that he was “staying in touch” with team principals including Mercedes’ Toto Wolff.

“I would love for Seb to come back,” said Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“He would be an amazing option for the team.

“A German driver, a multi-world championship-winning driver and someone who has got amazing values and continues to take this team forward.

“I’d love it if he came back.”

Hamilton on his successor: ‘Someone with compassion’

The seven-time champion was then asked if he had given any consideration to who Mercedes ultimately signed and whether he would prefer to be succeeded by an experienced driver like Vettel or Max Verstappen – who Wolff has gone on record to state is his number-one target – or a rookie.

After initially suggesting he was giving the matter “generally zero” thought, Hamilton then elaborated by stating: “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 and where the team is going.

“Someone with compassion to work with all these great people and continue to lift them up.

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As we head into this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, David Croft discusses Sebastian Vettel’s hint that he would love to return to Formula 1 for a ‘one-off’ race at Suzuka Circuit.

“There are so many great people in this team and, 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, but I hope they find someone great.

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

Experienced names linked with the seat also include the in-form Carlos Sainz, who Hamilton is replacing at Ferrari, and Williams’ Alex Albon.

Mercedes also have the in-house option of promoting 17-year-old protege Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who is currently competing in his maiden season of Formula 2.

And Hamilton, who came through McLaren’s junior ranks as a highly-rated young star to F1 almost two decades ago, added: “I do think it’s always great to give an opportunity to up-and-coming drivers so the idea of a youngster coming in for me is exciting.”

Russell himself said he would welcome any arrival of Vettel as his next team-mate.

“Sebastian’s a great person and he’s a four-time world champion and for sure his personality is missed on the grid and I think it’s important that we have the best 20 drivers in the world all competing for race wins and championships,” said Russell.

“So, as I said before, I’m really happy and open to have anybody as my team-mate, you know, whether it’s world champion, whether it’s a rookie, it doesn’t change how I go about my business. And yeah, as I said, we’ll welcome anybody.”

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Lewis Hamilton discusses the complex journey of constructing a championship contending car and believes it’s not over yet for Mercedes.

Sky Sports F1’s live Japanese GP schedule

Friday April 5
3am: Japanese GP Practice One (session starts at 3.30am)*
6.45am: Japanese GP Practice Two (session starts at 7am)*

8.15am: The F1 Show*
10am: Japanese GP Practice One replay
11.30am: Japanese GP Practice Two replay

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Look back on some of the most exciting title deciders to take place at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Saturday April 6
3.15am: Japanese GP Practice Three (session starts at 3.30am)*
6am: Japanese GP Qualifying build-up*
7am: Japanese GP Qualifying*
9am: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook*
9.30am: Japanese GP Qualifying replay

Sunday April 7
5am: Grand Prix Sunday Japanese GP build-up*
8am: Chequered Flag: Japanese GP reaction*
9am: Ted’s Notebook*
9.30am: Japanese Grand Prix highlights*
10.30am: Japanese Grand Prix replay

*also live on Sky Sports Main Event

Formula 1’s biggest ever season continues with the Japanese Grand Prix, live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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