Four-time world champion Vettel will retire at the end of the 2022 season after finishing his final race, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in 10th.

All 20 F1 drivers went to dinner together in a rare show of camaraderie and Hamilton has now explained how it came together.

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“I think it was really important so that’s why I asked the group in Mexico whether they would be open to all doing a dinner to give Seb a farewell,” he said. 

“We haven’t had a dinner since years ago in China [2016], it was the best evening. Everyone was laughing so much, great stories, Seb is a great leader. 

“He made a great speech, really trying to hand down some of the experiences he’s had over these years. Particularly to the younger guys because they’re the future. 

“We had that photo and it was the most harmony any driver group has ever had I would imagine – maybe not in history – because there’s images of others many many years ago but definitely in these 15 years.

“Afterwards we were like let’s do it all the time.

“Maybe we’ll make it an annual thing here. Maybe we’ll add another one in the year perhaps. 

“There’s also just a lot we can do as the GPDA as a united group. We have a responsibility, we’ve got a great platform, each and every one of us collectively. 

“It’s encouraging…collectively there’s a lot of things F1 needs to push forward on action-wise. Says we’re doing a lot of things and sustainability but really really making sure we’re pushing through and doing our absolute best and maybe GPDA can have a role in that.”

Hamilton posted on social media: “We’ve come a long way as drivers and continue to grow as men.

“Despite whatever may happen on the track we grow and become better each day.

“Us all coming together to celebrate life and Seb’s amazing career in F1 is truly a night I’ll never forget.”