Vettel reveals Mercedes talks to partner Hamilton - why didn’t it happen?

Sebastian Vettel held tentative discussions with Niki Lauda about moving to Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate, he has said.
 - Press conference, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1
- Press conference, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and…

Vettel was two years into his ultimately unsuccessful stint with Ferrari when Nico Rosberg, the reigning 2016 F1 world champion, announced his shock retirement leaving a vacant Mercedes seat alongside Hamilton.

"Maybe there was [a chance], I spoke with Niki,” Vettel said. 

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“But to be honest, it was halfway through the Ferrari period.

"Obviously it would have been a big deal, because Lewis was their No1, and I'm not sure whether they would have liked to have us both in the team. 

“But I also didn't have great interest at that time, because I was so committed to Ferrari.

"That was my dream to make that thing work so you talk to each other but it wasn't really serious.

"I think it would have been a great challenge and I think I would have enjoyed that but it just wasn't meant to be.

"My focus was to win with Ferrari. I didn't want to change team and win with Mercedes, but it just didn't happen. I am cool with that.

"I think I would have enjoyed racing with Lewis, we get along really well, and our moment was the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where we had maybe what you would call nowadays a 'misunderstanding!’"

(L to R): Race winner and World Champion Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari
(L to R): Race winner and World Champion Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG…

Vettel collided into the back of Hamilton’s car in Baku - then accused the Brit of brake-testing him.

The duo held a heated conversation afterwards which paved the way for them to become friends in later years.

"I was very upset,” Vettel said. “It was one of these moments where things didn't go my way. And I was upset, and maybe the emotional side did take over too much.

"But I think actually, that moment was a key moment because it could have made us step away from each other more, or bring us together. And it brought us together.

"I reflect and I did think about what happened.

"And as much as I might have felt in the moment that it is not fair, [what I did is] not right.

"I wanted to show him, I wanted to tell him, but obviously we're wearing helmets, and it's hard to communicate. So that was a form of communication.

"But I also did see that it was the wrong form, and it was not the right way.

"It wasn't sportsmanlike and not fair, which I admitted afterwards, and we talked to each other and I think since that moment, we got closer to each other."

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