Lewis Hamilton said Sebastian Vettel has made the right decision to stay in Formula One with the Racing Point team set to be rebranded Aston Martin next year.
After Ferrari opted not to renew Vettel’s contract beyond 2020 it was unclear whether the four-time world champion would remain in the sport or retire. On Thursday, ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix, he admitted he gave the latter serious consideration.
In the end Vettel opted for a multi-year deal with Aston Martin, something Hamilton was pleased to see.
“Honestly, I thought that was the ideal direction that he was going to go. I thought that it would happen,” Hamilton said.
“I was really pleased to hear it because that team has new ownership, has already taken a huge step forwards in its performance and it will continue to grow.”
Vettel is joining a team on a clear upward trajectory. Racing Point looks to be favourite for third in the championship this year, with owner Lawrence Stroll hoping to turn it into a title contender once a budget cap is introduced next season.
Hamilton believes the Vettel signing is a huge coup for the team.
“Maybe I’m biased, but I believe that experience counts for a huge amount. He’s obviously had a difficult time at Ferrari but he’s a four-time champion that can steer that team even further in a better direction in terms of car development.
“I think you should never take that for granted. It’s a great move for the team.”
Sergio Perez, who is making way for Vettel, currently has no plan in place for 2021 but Hamilton is confident he is good enough to find another seat on the F1 grid.
“Of course I’m sorry for Sergio, but he’s a great driver and I’m sure he’ll have other options.”