Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel exchange helmets after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as a sign of respect to each other following on from their title battle in 2018.
The two drivers fought for this years’ and last years’ title, with Hamilton coming out on top over Vettel to become a five-time Formula 1 world champion.
After the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Hamilton took his eleventh victory of the season, the pair exchanged their race helmets as a sign of respect, similar to other sports where athletes exchange their jerseys or sporting equipment.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) November 26, 2018
“This is kind of an honorary thing that drivers do, this is the highest regard of respect that we can have as drivers,” said Hamilton in the video from Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s Twitter account.
“This is like our jerseys. So here’s one of mine, great job this year, and it’s a real pleasure racing against you.”
Drivers within the F1 paddock in the past have previously exchanged helmets in the past, often something that occurs at the end of the season. Fernando Alonso famously keeps other drivers’ helmets he traded with in his museum at the Fernando Alonso Karting Campus.
Vettel has looked forward to trading helmets with Hamilton for the first time in their careers.
“Well done to you,” Vettel added. “Five championships, that is a great achievement. I hope I stop you from any more!”
Hamilton joked about Vettel’s helmet, commenting he may never ever use it and that Vettel has a ‘small head’. After the video, the two wore each other helmets’ for a photo.