Lewis Hamilton has backed Sebastian Vettel’s 2021 switch to Aston Martin, calling it an “ideal” move for the four-time World Champion.
Following months of speculation, Vettel’s future in F1 was confirmed on Thursday, one day after Sergio Perez confirmed he would be leaving Racing Point.
The Silverstone-based squad will re-brand as Aston Martin for next year and will obtain the services of Vettel, who has spent the last five years racing for Ferrari.
Speaking about Vettel’s decision to stay in the sport beyond the current campaign, Hamilton admits he imagined he would see the German race for Aston Martin next year.
“Honestly I thought that was the ideal direction that he was going to go,” Hamilton said. “I thought that it would happen.
“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.
“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. Of course I’m sorry for Sergio, but he’s a great driver and I’m sure hopefully he’ll have other options.”
Vettel’s announcement comes on the weekend that Ferrari is celebrating its 1000th Formula 1 grand prix start.
The team has unveiled a special livery for the race at Mugello, but is expected to endure another difficult weekend as its onerous season continues.
Hamilton states he hopes the Italian outfit can fix its troubles soon and return to the front of the field to challenge Mercedes once again.
“I don’t really know what to say about Ferrari, it’s contributed such a huge amount to the sport,” Hamilton said.
“There’s so much passion for the brand around the world and of course, Formula 1 wouldn’t be the same without Ferrari.
“It’s a brand that we need to keep here and do I hope at some stage we have them back in the competitive position so we can fight and get back to doing what they did well before.”