Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton say the respect between the two remain utmost despite the off-track developments with regards to FIA and Ferrari settlement and other F1 teams joining hands against it.
It’s often assumed that rivals in form of the sport harbor a deep-seated hatred towards each other, particularly in sport. This idea is created largely due to the intensity of competition, which can give off the impression of disrespect among athletes.
And, in some cases, there is such a feeling between competitors. However, between top rivals in F1, Vettel and Hamilton, this is not the case, as the former of the pair explained that their respect remains even through controversies.
Vettel reminds of the Azerbaijan GP incident in 2017 while also touching on the latest fiasco of Ferrari settling with the FIA, which resulted in a unison among F1 rivals to speak against it. Every team apart from the Italian manufacturer and its customer were part of it.
The FIA as well as the World Motor Sport Council stood by the decision and threw the ball at the seven F1 teams. While Mercedes hasn’t officially released a memo but it is believed that the German manufacturer is no longer part of those seven outfits.
It remains to be seen how the other six F1 teams carry forward. Meanwhile, Vettel and Hamilton clarified that their rivalry remains healthy despite their teams – Ferrari and Mercedes – at logger-heads off the track.
“I took the gloves out once to Lewis and it wasn’t the right thing to do so I said it afterwards – remember Baku,” joked Vettel to start off. As far as I understand it [the fuel-flow meter] was cleared so I think. For me it’s very simple.
“Obviously I trust my team to do the right things, within the regulations, at all time. I think we all trust, all drivers, the governing body as in the FIA, to do their job for all teams on the grid. I think that’s probably the answer, so there’s not much else to add.
“If you have further detailed questions and so on, then I’m not the one to answer because I think the cars are quite complex now so probably I’m not the best person to give you enough insight.
“I think the other one, that I would like to add, I can smell might be a hint, is that for me it doesn’t change anything in terms of the relationship that I have with other drivers and in this particular instance with Lewis.
“I think the respect that we share we’ve grown over the years is untouched and I don’t think is at threat.” Hamilton concurred with what Vettel had to say as he added that what is between them is unaffected by on-track skirmishes, even if it is between the F1 teams.
“No, the gloves aren’t off,” started Hamilton. “Firstly I think I repeat what Seb has just said. Between us our respect has continued to grow over the years and that doesn’t change. I think that what goes on in the background between teams and the governing body, I think is a separate issue.
“I think it could have been handled better, for sure but again, that’s really something that should be directed to Toto. I think for us athletes, us drivers, we just want to arrive at the races. Naturally all the teams are different in their performance.
“But you want to feel that you’re playing on fair grounds. That’s the approach that we have and I think, I don’t really know. I won’t add too much more to it because it will just cause more trouble,” summed up Hamilton.
Here’s news on Ferrari helping Italian officials
Here’s news on Ferrari suspending work
Here’s FIA statement from WMSC
Here’s what FIA said on the joint statement
Here’s what the seven F1 teams said against the settlement
The story was co-written by Duncan Leahy