Valtteri Bottas: F1 needs characters like Sebastian Vettel to stick around

Sebastian Vettel's presence will be sorely missed when he retires at the end of the season, according to his fellow Formula 1 drivers.

The charismatic German, who currently fills a seat at Aston Martin, is planning to retire at the end of the 2022 season. 

The former World Champion is also serving alongside Mercedes' George Russell as directors of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA), which was set up in 1961 to give drivers representation when key decisions are being made in the sport.

Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas has enjoyed Vettel's candour during meetings this year and believes his no-nonsense approach is exactly what a director of the GPDA needs.

"I feel like it's quite hard to replace Seb in that kind of role, because of the way he is," Bottas told the press at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

"He's really straightforward and direct and doesn't go around things, he just says things as they are and questions many things loudly, so I hope he continues.

"I'm not sure if he's keen but it would be great if he can continue."

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo echoed Bottas' sentiments, adding that Vettel's straight forward style of communication is a boon for F1 and drivers alike.

"He's certainly done a good job, Seb, he's a guy that a lot of the time just says it how it is.

"That's not in an aggressive way, he's just very honest and direct.

"When we're on topics like safety then we don't need to beat around the bush, so I think his character is really good for that position."

It remains to be seen whether Vettel will part ways completely with F1 at the end of the 2022 season, or whether he will stick around with his candid views in some other capacity.

READ MORE: Retirement not in Lewis Hamilton's immediate plans

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