Lewis Hamilton, the man, the enigma, the world champion who has against his name- 6 world titles, 5 of which have come with Mercedes and in the turbo-powered era post-2014. On the other hand, Sebastian Vettel– the former world champion of Red Bull, the leading Ferrari strongman, and no longer the face of the red grid for 2021!
Put the two together and in one team they boast of what can only be called a “dream line-up!” Why? Well, the duo together accounts for 10 world championships.
But then, it appears that there are certain things that seem well from some distance or really speaking, in a dream-like scenario. Perhaps it takes a massive stroke of unreal genius to make things happen for real.
In F1 imagination, while Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have what it takes to make “two to tango”, it doesn’t seem that for real, Formula 1 will get the big dream team to don the same racing overalls.
As a matter of fact, at present, Valtteri Bottas still has a contract on paper. That’s not lapsed. Moreover, Vettel and Hamilton, surely among the two redoubtable greats on the current grid are rivals. To see them as teammates, contesting others in the same machine is about as difficult a scenario as is imagining Kimi Raikkonen replacing Leclerc and going back to Ferrari.
Surely, the current Mercedes driver combination of Hamilton and Bottas is working well and the two have elevated the team’s synergy to an extent that theirs is actually the unbeatable partnership; Mercedes the very car that remains to be beaten by the rest.
Moreover, even if it were to happen that Bottas was shown the way or if at all, he finds a bigger, lucrative deal elsewhere (outside of Mercedes), it will boil down to the team’s balance at the Wolff-led outfit in the presence of Hamilton and Vettel.
In the current context, we know who Mercedes’ number 1 driver is. And it doesn’t sharpen one’s intellect to know that man is the famous Briton Lewis Hamilton. Under no circumstance would Hamilton allow his presence of authority to lessen in impact and weightage.
He’s the go-to man at the Silver Arrows, one who’s delivered a golden touch, in a stay that’s spanned over half a decade now.
Moreover, it doesn’t seem feasible to have a senior driver like Sebastian Vettel- a winner of 53 Grand Prix, 14 of which have come with Ferrari, to be treated as the number. 2 driver at Mercedes.
Would you want two vastly superior world champions to pair together with only 1 being given the ‘preferential treatment’ as the other succumbs to a low grade position.
Just the mere thought of that proposition sounds alarming and drab- isn’t it?
Now that being said, there are other perspectives too that lend themselves in such a context that though, makes for an appetising “would-be” F1 tale but lacks the practicality that makes driver pairings come real, at the end of the day.
Here’s what Essentially Sports, a leading F1 publication had to share in the Vettel-Hamilton pairing matter:
While Lewis is unlikely to veto Vettel’s arrival, Mercedes would be dealing with two heavyweights that are highly combustible. 10 World Championships sounds nice on paper but it brings in a lot of complexities. The Brackley outfit doesn’t need to upset the balance at this given moment.