Ferrari welcomes “outstanding professional” Vettel after his last drive for Team · RaceFans

After the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari said goodbye emotionally after six years together.

Sports director Laurent Mekies, who took over the squad last weekend because team boss Mattia Binotto was absent due to illness, said Vettel would have a place in the team’s history despite not having won the championship since joining in 2015.

“We certainly don’t have the feeling that it’s a normal Sunday,” said Mekies after the race. “It’s a very special Sunday because it’s Seb’s last race.

“We wanted to say a real thank you to Seb for six years with us. He is the third winning driver in Ferrari history.

“What we will keep with us is that he is an excellent professional who has been part of the team in good times and bad and put it together.”

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Vettel’s last season on the team was the least successful in many years. The team finished sixth in the championship, their worst result since 1980, and neither Vettel nor teammate Charles Leclerc scored a goal in either of their last two races.

Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2020
Vettel and Leclerc exchanged helmets after the race

“Of course we end the most difficult scenario,” said Mekies. “But even under these conditions it was a year in which he pulled us together, always constructive and positive, no matter what difficulties we had. That way you drive big teams like us, with everyone on the circuit and Maranello. “

Vettel, who won 14 races during his time at Ferrari, said he was passionate about the time he spent with the team “not only with the professionals but also with the people” behind the red dress “. that drives them and the dedication they have towards the team – the people in the garage, the people in the engineering office, the people in Maranello. “

“Of course there are many reasons why you can be with Ferrari and not be successful. It’s the mission we set out to do, but what you keep are the memories, the passion that I have with so many people along the way shared, “he added.

Reaching the end of his time as a Ferrari driver was an emotional moment, Vettel said. “I don’t regret looking back. Certainly there have been mistakes, there have been ups and downs, but I think it sank. I’m not usually the most emotional guy, it’s not today that I’ll remember after finishing 14th, but when I look at the bigger picture it’s a day that I’ll cherish.

“It’s a farewell to many friends and many people with whom I have worked a lot in the last few years, those who I will miss. But I’m sure I won’t miss her entirely – we have a saying in German, I don’t know if you have it in English, but it is that you will always see each other twice in life.

“I think time will tell, but I’ve learned so much from this team and they have given me so much, I’m very grateful for that. It goes beyond titles or victories. Sure, that was what we were looking for, but in the end we didn’t get it, but it doesn’t change anything and I wish this team all the best. “

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2020 F1 season

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