Sebastian Vettel revealed what he spoke to Lewis Hamilton post F1 record-equaling title in Turkish GP as the news followed globally.
In the wake of Mercedes Hamilton’s record-equaling of seventh F1 world championship win came an outpouring of support for the successful Brit, whose race win record exceeds that of Michael Schumacher (the former record-holder) already.
Among those to congratulate Hamilton was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, the German leaning into the cockpit of the F1 Turkish GP race winner’s mud-caked car to shake the hand of the Brit to congratulate him on his momentous title win.
Vettel had fought Hamilton for championships in 2017 and 2018, denying the Brit them from 2010 to 2013. The two were, at times, fierce rivals, but each championship win for the latter has been met with accolades from his former opponent.
Asked afterwards what he said in this particular interaction, Vettel replied: “I told him it’s very special for us because we can witness history being made. I think he is greatest of our era for sure. I think it’s always difficult to compare… how can you possibly compare Fangio, Stirling Moss to our generation? You can’t. Maybe we would be useless because we would all be shitting ourselves in those car.”
Vettel acknowledged the significance of Hamilton’s feats, though he remains steadfast in his support of his compatriot Schumacher as the greatest driver of all time. “Maybe they would be useless in our cars because they’re way too fast,” he said. “Who knows? But it doesn’t matter, I think every era has its driver or its drivers and Lewis is certainly the greatest of our era.
“To me, certainly emotionally, Michael will always be the most… the greatest driver but there’s no doubt that Lewis is the greatest in terms of what he has achieved. He’s equalled the championships, he’s won more races, he has a lot more pole positions so I think he’s done everything you can ask for. I think Turkey is the best proof.
“It’s a difficult race, a very difficult race to stay on track and two hours long and probably, if we’re honest, it wasn’t his race to win and he still won it, so I think, once again, he managed to pull out something special out of that bag and therefore I think he deserves everything he has achieved,” said a complimentary Vettel.
Upon reflection, Hamilton thanked those that helped him on his journey to an eventual seventh championship, citing Ron Dennis (formerly of McLaren), his family members, and others. “The performance hopefully shows what I’m capable of and what we could all do together,” he said. “In the sense of young kids out there it’s important for them to see. I dreamt this when I was five years old, to be here in Formula 1 and it’s so important to hold onto your dreams, to dream big, for all of us, it doesn’t matter how old you are.
“It’s taken a long time to get here but I’m forever grateful to the guys that have helped me. My team, for believing in me, Ron, for taking me on when I was a kid, Mercedes, who continued to support me all the way from 13 years old to today. Particularly to my family, you know. So grateful to them. I hope they are celebrating,” he said.
From other facets of the F1 community Hamilton received further praise, especially on social media. Some came from fellow drivers, with other figures of the sport, and celebrities from outside of it also providing commentary on the matter.
Here’s what was said after Hamilton’s win:
7 x World Champion – that’s insane! Massively deserved. Surely one of the greatest achievements in the history of sports. Congratulations Lewis and enjoy the celebrations with your family and friends. #TurkishGP #F1
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) November 15, 2020
Congrats on the 7th 🏆 @LewisHamilton, stellar work
— Lance Stroll (@lance_stroll) November 15, 2020
seven and counting @LewisHamilton
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) November 15, 2020
— Jean Todt (@JeanTodt) November 15, 2020
— Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) November 15, 2020
Witnessing greatness! Congratulations Lewis! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 https://t.co/l602MEUSHY
— Stoffel Vandoorne (@svandoorne) November 15, 2020
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) November 15, 2020
And of course, a huge congratulations to @LewisHamilton for being a seven times World Champion. What an achievement!
— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) November 15, 2020
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) November 15, 2020
Well done @LewisHamilton A truly amazing feat. Seven World Titles, all won in impeccable style, always a clean driver, no controversial moves ever. Congratulations. Incredible achievement.
— David Hobbs (@MrDavidHobbs) November 15, 2020
— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) November 15, 2020
“To all the kids out there that dream of doing the impossible, you can do it!”
-7x champ @LewisHamilton
Simply incredible pic.twitter.com/WevWBSqx75
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) November 15, 2020
— Damon Hill (@HillF1) November 15, 2020
Congratulations @LewisHamilton on your 7th world championship!! I know our sports are very different but your hard work, focus, determination and drive to be the best inspires me everyday! These are the foundations to success. Congrats Champ🏆🙌🏽7️⃣
— Reece James (@reecejames_24) November 15, 2020
— Robert Shwartzman (@ShwartzmanRob) November 15, 2020
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) November 15, 2020
Congratulations @LewisHamilton !!! Huge achievement 🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇
— Paddy Lowe (@paddylowe) November 15, 2020
— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) November 15, 2020
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) November 15, 2020
— JoanMir36 (@JoanMirOfficial) November 15, 2020
What a race!!!! @LewisHamilton @MercedesAMGF1 Ridiculous win! Another world title! But to win in that way in those conditions. Unbelievable 🙌🏾👌🏾👌🏾#champ #7 Seven!!!! 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇😆#inspiring #stillirise
— Lemar (@Lemar) November 15, 2020
Among others via Instagram Stories, there were more messages from Rita Ora, Ben Winston, Winnie Harlow, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa, Neymar Jr, Kevin Garrett, Alex Pettyfer, J Balvin, Jamie Chadwick, David Beckham, Jerome Boateng, Fabio Quartararo, Billy Monger, Olivia Munn, Millie Bobby Brown, Novak Djokovic, Marco Andretti, Will Smith and many more.
UPDATE: The Royal Family joined in to congratulate Hamilton:
Congratulations to record-equalling seven-time @F1 World Championship title winner @LewisHamilton – along with a record number of race wins, what an incredible achievement! 🏎🏆 pic.twitter.com/uzTXQC8Yj7
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) November 16, 2020
Here’s a video of Lewis Hamilton becoming 7-time champ: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2020/11/The_moment_Lewis_Hamilton_became_a_7-time_world_champion.html
Here’s Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in parc ferme: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2020/11/2020_Turkish_Grand_Prix__Vettel_and_Hamilton’s_warm_embrace_in_parc_ferme.html
Here’s how F1 Turkish GP panned out