Abu Dhabi (dpa) – Sebastian Vettel three words are enough to conclude after six years at Ferrari. “We have failed,” said the four-time Formula 1 world champion in red before his final appearance.
The 33-year-old leaves the Scuderia unfinished for Aston Martin when he gets out of his car on December 13 (2.10 p.m. / RTL and Sky) after the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Without the coveted title, without, like his idol Michael Schumacher, having led the Italians back to the front.
“We wanted to win the title and didn’t make it,” Vettel said at a press conference. As an excuse, the veteran did not allow the alleged high pressure from the outside or Mercedes as the strongest opponent in the history of the motorsport premier class. “Our goal was to be stronger than them. That didn’t work out and that’s why we failed,” Vettel said clearly, “We were once close, sometimes we were far away. That’s the truth and there’s nothing bad about it. say it out loud too. “
Vettel and Ferrari – that was more torture than Grande Amore, especially last year. The Heppenheimer will end the season worse than ever since he became a regular driver in 2008. He is in 13th place shortly before the end of the Corona emergency season, even 12th place is unreachable. Basically out of the question for Hessen, who dominated the Red Bull from 2010 to 2013. “The years with Scuderia Ferrari have been a great journey and we have learned so much,” said Vettel. But above all, he had to learn to lose.
First against the overwhelming Silver Arrows around long-term winner Lewis Hamilton, then also against the stubborn teammate Charles Leclerc. The Monegasse climbed to the number one of the team last year, the Italians see their future in the 23-year-old. Vettel now has to make way for Spaniard Carlos Sainz (26), who comes over from McLaren. He was informed of the deportation in the spring. “The call was very difficult because Seb did not expect it,” recalls team principal Mattia Binotto in the Formula 1 podcast this week, adding: “I am happy that he will remain in Formula 1.”
And why has Ferrari failed to become world champion again in a long time together? “There is no easy answer to that,” said Binotto. But it was certainly not thanks to Vettel himself. “Over the past six years there have been many changes in key positions at Ferrari, there has been a lack of stability in the group. That did not help our project. That is perhaps the main reason,” said the much criticized Binotto.
Vettel has 14 victories, 55 podium places, twelve pole positions and a total of 1400 World Cup points at Scuderia. “Only Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda were better than him. That alone shows the enormous footprints he left with us,” said Binotto from “Sport Bild”. In Abu Dhabi it should get emotional again. Vettel would like to thank the Tifosi and the employees with a special helmet. “The fact that I will be wearing different colors next year will not prevent me from keeping in touch with my friends at Ferrari,” he said.
More news from Formula 1
In 2021 everything should improve after torturous months of setbacks. The new Aston Martin works team, the successor to Racing Point, wants to establish themselves with Vettel in the lead. The victory of Mexican Sergio Perez, who has to give way to Vettel, last Sunday in Bahrain shows what is possible. Vettel does not want to talk about titles, Mercedes is still far too dominant for that. But returning to the podium as a regular would be the taste of the 53-time Grand Prix winner, who absolutely wants to shine again.
His current situation looks very different. “At the moment it is very difficult to come up with a green branch. I am fighting my way through that,” said Vettel before the 118th Grand Prix with the Scuderia. Nonetheless, he had “played an important role in Ferrari’s history,” said stable rival Leclerc, speaking of the “end of an era” and added, “It would be great if we could have another great race. He. deserves it. “
Vettel will continue to closely monitor what is happening at Ferrari, also because of Mick Schumacher. On Friday, the son of Formula 1 record champion Michael Schumacher climbed the car of the American racing team Haas for the first time, with which he will drive as a regular driver from 2021. As a member of Ferrari’s junior academy, the 21-year-old can recommend a cockpit at Scuderia in the coming years. “I am happy for him”, said Vettel, who will no longer be the only German driver in 2021: “Mick is someone who is always learning and always able to develop, where many stop.”