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Sebastian Vettel questions if F1 still excites Lewis Hamilton as much given recent results – Sky Sports

F1 News
Last Updated: 09/06/22 1:55pm
Sebastian Vettel has questioned whether Lewis Hamilton is still excited by Formula 1 following the seven-time world champion’s downturn in results.
Aston Martin’s Vettel also admitted he was scared by the prospect of retiring from the sport and believes F1 is “missing” the experience of the former race director Michael Masi.
Hamilton arrives in Baku 75 points – the equivalent of three race victories – adrift of world championship leader Max Verstappen after managing just one podium finish in the opening seven rounds, with Mercedes having failed to keep pace with Red Bull and Ferrari.
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“When you get to know the sport in the way I have done and Lewis has done, winning and being at the top is what you strive for,” Vettel said, who claimed four consecutive titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013.
“Does it excite you to finish eighth, or 12th or 13th? No, it doesn’t, when you know you have been first so many times – and in Lewis’ case more than any other guy.
“George (Russell) comes in. He spent three years at Williams suffering at the rear of the field, scoring the odd point, and then suddenly he is eighth or 12th and life for him is amazing.
“Everybody is different, but you need to be fair from the outside and say, look, is Lewis naturally going to be as fired up about finishing eighth as George probably is? No, and I would be surprised if he was.”
George Russell is 34 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton and has beaten him in six races in a row. Is deficit down to “bad luck”, as Hamilton and Mercedes say?
The FIA has come under scrutiny recently for its handling of the rain-delayed Monaco Grand Prix.
This season, Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich are the only two nominated race directors. They were appointed as replacements for Masi following a review of the controversial 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Vettel, director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, added: “What we are missing now is the experience that Michael had and brought to the job because he did it for so long and grew up with it.
“It is not an easy position now because there is more focus and more spotlight on what is happening at race control.
“But I hope things calm down and we find a way to work together, as in the drivers and the FIA. You cannot make everybody happy but we need to try and make both sides more happy.”
Martin Brundle dissects the drama from the Monaco GP, from the delayed start to Charles Leclerc ruing Ferrari’s meltdown and Sergio Perez’s momentous win.
Vettel finished runner-up to Hamilton in 2017 and 2018 before he was dropped by Ferrari and then signed for Aston Martin in 2020.
The 34-year-old German was 12th in the standings last year and has scored just five points this season.
It is almost three years since Vettel took the last of his 53 wins – a tally which puts him behind only Hamilton and Michael Schumacher in the list of F1 winners. He says his future on the grid depends on whether Aston Martin’s fortunes improve and admits the thought of retirement is scary
“Yes [it is],” Vettel said. “I have done motor racing for my whole life, and it gives you security, in terms of the schedule being made by other people.
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“I don’t know what life after Formula 1 looks like and I don’t think any sportsperson knows what the next life looks like. You can have certain things lined up, but you don’t know and that is the truth.
“I don’t expect to find something tomorrow which I am really good at, because I have found something in my life that I am really good at and it is hard to find that again. How many times can you win the lottery?
“I enjoy driving the car but there are other things I don’t like. After so many years, the usual stuff comes up that you don’t understand at the beginning, like the travel. It is very time consuming, and I have kids at home and a family so it equals time away from them.
“The future depends on this year and the races that I have coming up. I have not decided yet. The summer is the usual time when you start to talk so we will see.”
©2022 Sky UK

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