On 28 July the 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement, after 15 years of joys and sorrows behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car. The German driver explained that his priorities have changed as a family man , that Formula 1 is a part of his life that he loves, but that he feels the need to give space to something else now.
Vettel has always been an example of sportsmanship on the track, but also a role model outside Formula 1. He is involved in several projects that support environmental sustainability, the fight for human rights, against racism, which fight discrimination against LGBTQ + community.
Together with Hamilton he was and continues to be an example for the youngest. Very often it is said that sports and these issues must remain separate, but this is not the case, because they are problems that affect every aspect of everyone's life, and awareness is never enough and must be done using every available means.
In this regard, Hamilton said at the Hungarian Grand Prix:
"Ultimately I think that in general we often stand on the shoulders of greats from the past, whether it's in this sport or other sports.
"I really hope he inspires the next generation. Whether it's this one or the younger generation that will be coming through, to be more confident in utilising their platform, realising it's not just about them and their car.
"It's about something far, far bigger than being here. I really hope we see more people like him.
"But, I can't guarantee that, because I think he's rare." Hamilton explained.
The Brit is hopeful that although in a few years there will be no more "veterans" on the grid, the young drivers who will inherit the responsibilities of those with more experience could do a good job.
"We're hoping that our work leads it to a better place," - Hamilton said - "That's the work that I've tried to do, what Seb's been trying to do here, really igniting the fire of sparking conversations, to leave the place a better sport than it was when we found it.
"I think Seb has definitely had a huge role to play in that and there's still a lot of work to do.
"I don't know if Seb is going to do more work, continue on the work in the background with the sport or not. I doubt he'll come back and do commentary, but you can never say never!
"But, yeah, I do hope it's in a better place. It would've been an awful waste of time if not".
Seb, it’s been an honour to call you a competitor and an ever greater honour to call you my friend. Leaving this sport better than you found it is always the goal. I have no doubt that whatever comes next for you will be exciting, meaningful, and rewarding. Love you, man. pic.twitter.com/eHVmOpov2m— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) July 28, 2022