In a rarely seen showing of competitive camaraderie, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel swapped crash helmets to demonstrate the mutual respect between them after Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The five-time champion Briton, of Mercedes, and four-time champion German, of Ferrari, finished first and second in Sunday’s race and have won eight of the last nine drivers’ championship titles.
“The ultimate respect between racing drivers,” said Mercedes on Monday in a comment on Twitter alongside a short video clip of the pair exchanging their head-wear.
The duo have scrapped for the last two world titles with Hamilton coming out on top both times, but their rivalry has been characterized by a fair sporting relationship.
Hamilton said the exchange of their helmets was an honorary gesture that was comparable to players swapping shirts after football matches.
“This is kind of an honorary thing that drivers do, so this is the highest regard of respect that we can have as drivers,” he said in the video post. “This is like out jerseys. So here’s one of mine…
Vettel said he had been “looking forward” to making the swap with Hamilton for the first time. “well done to you,” he responded.
“Five championships- that is a great achievement. I hope I stop you from any more.”
As the pair smiled and posed, Hamilton told Vettel he will not “be able actually to use will not “be able actually to use it” because the German driver had “a small head.”
The goodwill between the two leading championship contenders produced a warm glow to the end of a memorable season and Hamilton’s 11th victory of the year.
From Online Sources