It is no secret that it was Lewis Hamilton's idea to bring all 20 drivers on the Formula 1 grid together for dinner to bid farewell to Sebastian Vettel on the eve of his final race in the sport. But rumours about the drivers racking up a £115,000 bill at the restaurant have been branded a "load of rubbish".

Vettel bid adieu to F1 after 16 years following the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Nov. 20. It was an emotional weekend as every driver paid tribute to the German, praising not only his greatness on track, but also his humility and his genuine kindness off it.

Hamilton, in particular, was effusive in his praise, and spoke about an unlikely bond he now shares with his once great rival. In order to give Vettel a proper send off, the seven-time F1 world champion organised a dinner, which was attended by all 20 drivers on the grid.

It was certainly a night to remember, as every driver shared pictures of the group - outside the restaurant, and of them seated on a long table during the meal. After the dinner, a picture of their rumoured bill began making the rounds showing the total cost to be a whopping £115,000.

Williams driver Alex Albon cleared up the speculation by confirming that the bill that went viral was a fake. He also spoke candidly about the night, stating that it was a lot of laughs before thanking Hamilton for organising it and picking up the entire tab.

"What a load of rubbish!" Albon said, as quoted by the Mirror, before adding: "We're normal people – we're not here expecting caviar on our plate and gold spoons."

"The dinner, truthfully speaking, was really special. It was a lot of fun. I think every driver, [including] myself, my cheeks were aching just smiling and laughing the whole time, so it was really good."

The former Red Bull Racing driver, however, refrained from giving specific details about the conversation around the dinner table. The Thai-British racer admitted that he will get into trouble if he reveals the "interesting stories" being shared by certain drivers.

"I feel like I'll get in trouble to say who did what – that was a strict policy of the dinner itself. We can't say what happened. There were some very good stories being told."

Alex Albon
Track and trace: Red Bull's Thai driver Alex Albon (right) inspects the circuit on Thursday AFP / JOE KLAMAR