Four time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel will climb into the cockpit of a Ferrari Formula One car for the final time this weekend as he prepares for the 2020 Formula One season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which marks the end of his tenure with the Italian team.
During his time with Ferrari, Vettel has contested 117 Grand Prix, 118 but the time the chequered flag falls on Sunday and scored 14 victories for the team.
Vettel joined Ferrari in 2015 replacing Fernando Alonso as Kimi Raikkonen’s team mate at the Italian team and although he had some good seasons with the team ultimately he was unable to match Michael Schumacher’s success at the Prancing Horse and will replace Sergio Perez at the Aston Martin Formula One Team from 2021.
Speaking ahead of his final race weekend with Ferrari, Vettel said:
Abu Dhabi is a track that has never really suited our cars well so I am expecting it to be an interesting challenge. However, I will give my maximum, as always, and being my last race with the team, I hope we can enjoy it and get the best possible result.
The years with Scuderia Ferrari have been a great journey in which together we have learned so much. There have been ups and downs and we have been close to winning the title twice but it was not to be. I am happy that we have won 14 races together but for sure we wanted more.
This weekend I will be using a special helmet to thank the team and all the tifosi for their great support over the last six years. The fact that I am wearing different colours next year won’t stop me from wanting to chat with the friends I am leaving in Ferrari. Your passion and your support are part of the reason why this team is so special.”
Charles Leclerc commented on the upcoming race this weekend saying:
We’ve come to the end of a pretty difficult season. The first sector of the Abu Dhabi track is interesting, whereas the middle and last parts are a bit less fun. This track has never been much of a friend to Ferrari, even if last year, we managed to get on the podium.
This year, getting a good result here will be particularly challenging, because I have a three place grid penalty to deal with as a result of the first lap collision in the Sakhir Grand Prix. For my part, I am really keen to finish the season with a convincing performance so I will try and prepare as well as possible with the engineers, studying all the strategic possibilities.
This is also Seb’s last race with the team and so it is also, in some ways, the end of an era. It would be fantastic if we can both have a great race to mark this special moment. He has played a very important role in Ferrari’s history and he deserves to end this time with a result worthy of his career with the team