“Hard to be friends when you’re having a head-to-head battle”: Lewis Hamilton sheds light on his love-hate relationship with Sebastian Vettel

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have had a long relationship in their Formula 1 careers, and now the Mercedes racer is commenting on their dynamics.

Lewis Hamilton(on the left) and Sebastian Vettel(on the right)
Lewis Hamilton(on the left) and Sebastian Vettel(on the right)

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are the only two racers on the current Formula 1 grid who have won more than two World Championship titles in the sport. As both of them are exemplary racers with a career filled with unparalleled achievements and massive success, it is expected that they will have a fierce rivalry between them. But as Lewis Hamilton had said in his interview following the announcement of Sebastian Vettel‘s retirement, they had a very unique dynamic between them.

Sebastian Vettel was virtually unbeatable behind the wheels of his mighty Red Bull from 2010 to 2013 as he got four back-to-back World Championship wins by surpassing every other racer on the grid–including Lewis Hamilton. But then, Lewis got back to his 2008 form as he got his first World Championship victory as a Mercedes racer. Ever since then, Sebastian Vettel could never get back to the top of the standings, even after he moved to Ferrari–the most successful and oldest team in F1.

Thus, even though Sebastian Vettel’s and Lewis Hamilton’s racing abilities have a stark contrast, and the two legends have always harbored respect for each other. But they have had their fair share of enmity on the tracks as the two always vied for the win in the Grands Prix. With their love-hate relationship in mind, Lewis Hamilton did admit Seb was “one of the few people who made sure I didn’t feel lonely“.

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Lewis Hamilton comments on his “psychological warfare” between him and Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton
Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are two stalwarts in the recent history of Formula 1 who have a combined eleven World Championship titles between them.

But speaking of any clashes between them on the tracks and their rivalry, Lewis Hamilton said, “With Seb, we’ve had some great races in the past and I’m so proud of him. To have the respect between two people who have had tough battles… It’s hard to be friends when you’re having a head-to-head battle and one of you is and one of you isn’t winning. The psychological warfare you go through, it’s tough.”

Then, Lewis Hamilton also said that he is thankful that the two of them could go above and beyond their competition to form a close friendship.

On the other hand, now that Sebastian Vettel has announced his retirement at the end of this year’s season, it is still unclear if he would join some other racing series after F1, but as of now, he has received several offers from IndyCar, Formula E, etc.

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Riddhi Mondal is an F1 author at FirstSportz. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport. She is a proud McLaren fan who eagerly awaits the paddock's visit to Spa Francorchamps and hopes to attend the Monaco GP one day. A student of medicine, whenever she's not fawning over Daniel Ricciardo or rooting for Max Verstappen to become the next World Champion, Riddhi's either busy reading thrillers, debating, or playing with her six feline friends.