A profession that started on the 2007 United States Grand Prix, and spanned 5 completely different Formulation One groups, 57 pole positions, 53 wins, and 4 F1 Championships drew to a detailed on Sunday, because the legendary Sebastian Vettel raced within the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his last F1 occasion.
Vettel introduced again in July that this might be his last F1 season, closing the books on one of many actually nice careers in F1 historical past. Saying his impending retirement, Vettel had this to say about his profession, the game, and his supporters:
The choice to retire has been a troublesome one for me to take, and I’ve spent lots of time fascinated with it; on the finish of the 12 months I need to take some extra time to mirror on what I’ll deal with subsequent; it is extremely clear to me that, being a father, I need to spend extra time with my household. However at present just isn’t about saying goodbye.
“Relatively, it’s about saying thanks – to everybody – not least to the followers, with out whose passionate help Formulation One couldn’t exist.
Because the F1 circuit traveled to Abu Dhabi for the ultimate race on the calendar, a week-long tribute to Vettel bought underway. Maybe probably the most touching, and healthful, was a dinner attended by the 20 F1 drivers in Vettel’s honor. Unbelievable photographs resulted from the occasion, together with this group picture of the drivers shared by Mercedes’ George Russell:
Even higher was this picture, as a result of apparently it was AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly who took the picture, utilizing the timer on his telephone. Right here is Gasly organising the shot:
the way in which they used a self timer on pierre’s telephone most probably. the chaos of everybody getting the photographs despatched round. did they airdrop? are they screenshotting from others posts? i would like solutions pic.twitter.com/Odn2l6Lokh
— rea ⁴ ¹⁰ (@PIERR3GASLY) November 17, 2022
Vettel’s father Norbert additionally recorded this unbelievable tribute to his son that, effectively, simply watch it:
Norbert was additionally available to current his son together with his very first racing swimsuit, and helmet, as a memento:
A really particular shock.
Sebastian Vettel’s father was available earlier than FP1 on the #AbuDhabiGP to current him together with his first-ever race swimsuit and helmet, as his son takes to the observe for his last #F1 weekend.
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Workforce (@AstonMartinF1) November 18, 2022
Finally, it was time to take to the observe, however the wholesomeness didn’t cease. Earlier than Vettel rolled off for follow, right here was Haas driver Mick Schumacher waving to his fellow German:
When it was time for qualifying, Vettel posted considered one of his greatest classes of the whole season, qualifying in ninth place. That tied his greatest qualifying efficiency of the whole 2022 marketing campaign
Earlier than the Grand Prix itself, nevertheless, there was one final little bit of enterprise for Vettel.
A run across the observe with the whole paddock on Saturday night time:
Then it was Sunday, and time for the ultimate race of the season, and Vettel’s profession. The German climbed into his Aston Martin automotive for the final time, after strolling via an honor guard comprised of the opposite F1 drivers:
Lastly, the lights went out, and the racing started at Yas Marina. Whereas the principle storyline was the battle for second place within the Driver’s Championship between Charles Leclerc and Sergio Pérez — a battle that Leclerc would win — all eyes had been on Vettel as he wound his approach across the circuit. After a spirited battle with Daniel Ricciardo within the last laps of the race, Vettel got here throughout the road within the factors, putting tenth.
Time for the ultimate flourish:
Vettel then climbed out of his seat to handle the gang at Yas Marina:
Previous to the race Lewis Hamilton, who reportedly picked up the tab for the group dinner earlier within the week, had a bit prediction for his fellow F1 driver: “Formulation One has a approach of sucking you again in and we’ve observed that with so many different drivers so…He’s come again, you’re in all probability going to come back again,” stated Hamilton at a press convention a number of days in the past with Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Hamilton referred to the truth that Alonso walked away from the game a number of years in the past, however returned to F1 with Alpine in 2021.
Alonso will take Vettel’s place at Aston Martin subsequent 12 months.
If certainly this was the final race for Vettel, it was a beautiful end to a very legendary profession. He walks away with quite a few F1 information, together with most pole positions in a season (15), most consecutive wins in a season (9), most laps led in a season (739), and he was the youngest driver to win a Driver’s Championship, when he took residence the title again in 2010, the primary of four-straight championships.
A real residing legend.