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Lewis Hamilton wishes Sebastian Vettel a return to F1 ahead of his final Grand Prix

Seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton said on Thursday that he expected his former rival and friend Sebastian Vettel to return to the sport soon despite his decision to retire. The upcoming Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final race in the F1 2022 calendar, will be the last of Vettel’s career.

The four-time World Champion with Red Bull had already announced his decision to retire from the sport a few months earlier and Vettel even hosted all the other 19 race drivers in a dinner together in Abu Dhabi on Thursday night.

Hamilton, however, believes that the 53-time Grand Prix winner will be back in some capacity soon as he will find the lure of F1 hard to resist.

“I’m sitting here kind of accepting, yeah, this is your last race but you’ll be back,” said Hamilton sharing a news conference with Fernando Alonso and Vettel at the Yas Marina track.

“Formula One has a way of sucking you back in and we’ve noticed that with so many other drivers so…“He’s come back, you’re probably going to come back,” he added to the German, referring to 41-year-old Fernando Alonso who made his F1 return last year and is moving from Alpine to Aston Martin as Vettel’s replacement next season.

A father of three children now, Vettel announced his decision to retire ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of July, sending shockwaves around the motorsport community. He mentioned that his goals had changed and he wanted to focus on family and other interests outside the sport.

Speaking to Formula One’s ‘Beyond the Grid’ podcast released on Wednesday, Vettel, who left Ferrari for Aston Martin at the end of 2020, said the idea of retirement had been growing for some time and that he had initially resisted it.

“To try and understand, initially it grows inside you, and like I said it was a bit confusing because I never had that before, the desire to maybe stay at home, not go on the plane, not looking forward to travel,” he said.

“Obviously after the change from Ferrari to Aston Martin at that time it was the first time I really thought it might be the time to stop…,” he added.