Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel discussed swapping F1 seats after the seven-time world champion predicted a comeback for the German racer. The Aston Martin Racing ace is preparing for his final Formula 1 outing at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend.

Vettel announced his retirement from F1 earlier this year, after 16 seasons in the sport. The 35-year-old will hang up his helmet after 299 race starts that yielded him four Drivers' World Championships alongside 53 race wins and 122 podium finishes.

The German has shared memorable rivalries with a number of drivers during his career none more so than Hamilton during the former's time with Ferrari. Vettel challenged Hamilton for the title in 2018 and 2019, but the Italian marque was unable to sustain the fight against the dominant Mercedes team.

Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season. AFP / William WEST

Hamilton was asked to reflect on his battles with Vettel during their combined press conference ahead of the Abu Dhabi GP on Thursday. The Mercedes ace joked that the former Red Bull Racing driver was a "bit of a nuisance" to race against at times, but predicted that he will be back in F1 in the future.

"I was just sitting here thinking most drivers are coming back, like he's come back [pointing at Fernando Alonso next to him]," Hamilton said.

"You're probably going to come back [referring to Vettel]. We're seeing other drivers coming back. So I'm sitting here kind of accepting, yes, it's your last race, but he'll be back."

As usual, Vettel had an answer prepared. The 53-time race winner made a proposition to Hamilton, which the latter accepted as a way for the duo to prolong their F1 careers. Vettel joked with Hamilton about taking his seat at Mercedes when the British ace felt the need to take a break.

We can make a deal," Vettel replied with a laugh. "We'll speak outside. When you want to get away maybe then I'd want to get back..."

"And just swap, alternate. Yeah," Hamilton accepted cracking up.

Apart from the glowing tribute, Hamilton also organised a dinner for Vettel which was attended by all 20 drivers on Thursday night. The final laps of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are certain to be filled with emotion for a number of drivers, with Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi also departing the sport.

F1 Lewis Hamilton
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