Sebastian Vettel says Lewis Hamilton fully deserves all his success in Formula 1 – and that is exactly what he told the six-time champion after the United States Grand Prix.
Although Vettel has known for some time that he no longer had the chance to win the title this year, and endured a disappointing retirement from the Austin race, he still took time to seek out Hamilton in the pre-podium green room and offer his congratulations.
Reflecting on their chat, Vettel later told the media that he was happy for Hamilton even though he was disappointed about Ferrari's failure to deliver in 2019.
"I think now is the time to write as many good things as you can," said Vettel, when asked for his thoughts on Hamilton's success.
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"I think if somebody wins the title six times then he deserves all of it. That is what I told him as well.
"I am happy for him. I am not happy that we are not in contention this year and we are so far back.
"We need to respect what he achieved the last years and also this year, plus together with his team how strong they have been. I am happy for him. But less happy for us."
Vettel's praise of Hamilton's success was echoed by his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, who has battled the Mercedes driver at times this year.
"On my side I didn't even win one world title," said the Monegasque driver. "Only one world title is already a huge achievement, so to win six is just incredible.
"I think he deserves it. He has done an incredible season. I grew up watching him on TV and yeah, just a huge congratulations to him."