Lewis Hamilton says he is “really pleased to hear” Sebastian Vettel has signed a deal to drive for Aston Martin from 2021 onwards.
The big announcement came yesterday and Hamilton was immediately asked to give his opinion on the move.
“Honestly, I thought that’s the ideal direction that he was going to go, so I thought it would happen,” the Briton 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 can continue to grow.
“But I personally, and 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 is a four-time world champion and could help steer that team even further in a good-er direction, in terms of car development.
“I think you should never take that for granted. It’s a great move from the team.”
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The Briton also commented on the change Vettel will feel when he moves from a huge operation like Ferrari to a smaller team like Aston Martin.
“It’s quite a big shift from Ferrari to an up-and-coming team,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.
“But I think Formula 1 really needs to keep the great driver that he is in the sport so I’m really happy that he’s continuing and not stopping.
“I’m just really happy for him because it’s not been the easiest of journeys at Ferrari, and I think he’ll learn so much from there.”
However Vettel’s gain was Sergio Perez’s loss, as the Mexican was released from his contract with Racing Point (next year to be rebranded as Aston Martin).
“Of course, sorry for Sergio – he’s a great driver and I’m sure, hopefully, he will have other options,” said Hamilton.
Lewis also gave his comments about driving at Mugello, a new track on the calendar that he has never been to.
“It was really cool arriving today. I’ve only done some running on the simulator so I’ve never been at the track but when I arrived today it felt like I was back in the karting days when I used to come to Italy and arrive at a new circuit and learn a new circuit.
“The way things are built here, I think it is a beautiful place.
“I like seeing it for the first time when I get out there. It is usually a shock and surprise at the same time.
“I will definitely enjoy the learning process of this track and the challenges we will face, but I can’t tell you if it is a great track yet,” concluded the six-time champion.