Hamilton as a teammate? Vettel prefers Raikkonen

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But Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have never raced as teammates — a scenario the German driver moved to distance himself from ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

“I prefer Kimi, to give you my honest answer,” Vettel told CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies, when asked whether he’d rather Räikkönen, his current teammate, or his Mercedes rival alongside him at Ferrari.

“If you ask me if I’m afraid of [Hamilton] then no,” added Vettel, before joking, “he’s not taller than me, I don’t think he’s heavier than me, so in boxing terms I’m not afraid.

“In the end you have to be prepared to race whoever comes along, I don’t know what is his plan in the future,” he continued.

“But if I had to pick, I would pick Kimi, simply because there’s no danger or threat of any politics or misunderstandings.”

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With Hamilton continuing to stall over a new contract at Mercedes, speculation is rife about his future, even if it is expected he’ll extend his stay.

The Brit said in Wednesday’s press conference that he’d be “down to race with whoever,” but was similarly hesitant to say he’d partner up with Vettel anytime soon due to the clash of characters.

“I think you’ve seen in history that it can often be difficult when there are two incredibly strong alphas within a team,” said Hamilton, adding he sympathized with Räikkönen due to “certain situations that don’t necessarily work out for him.”

The current championship leader went on to say there is “great harmony” between him and current teammate Valtteri Bottas — one he’s eager not to disrupt.

“There’s a respect when one of the drivers does better than the other and it’s not necessarily always the same when it’s different characters,” said Hamilton, “so it’s really dependent on the characters you’re with.”

Both four-time world champions, Hamilton and Vettel could hardly be more different.

While Hamilton is often spotted on red carpets, Vettel is rarely in the limelight outside of a race weekend.

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