Sebastian Vettel reveals he almost became rival Lewis Hamilton's F1 team-mate after holding shock talks with Mercedes | The Sun

SEBASTIAN VETTEL has revealed that could have become rival Lewis Hamilton's team-mate at Mercedes in 2016.

The German Formula One driver admitted that he held talks with former Mercedes boss Niki Lauda following the retirement of Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Mercedes driver, Rosberg was the reigning holder of the World Drivers' Championship title in 2016 when he decided to retire.

However, that meant that the Formula One team needed to find a replacement, and Ferrari driver Vettel was approached.

He said: "Maybe there was [a chance], I spoke with Niki.

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


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"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 a 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.

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"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!’"

Vettel and Hamilton both made their debuts in 2007.

The Brit was at a leading team in McLaren, whereas Vettel made his debut for backmarkers Sauber.

They clashed during a coming together came at the Azerbaijan GP in 2017 in a clear act of road rage that should have seen Vettel banned.

The German deliberately rammed his Ferrari into Hamilton's Mercedes as they prepared for a restart behind a safety car.

Vettel was given a ten-second penalty and later apologised but finished ahead of Hamilton in the race.

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