The Dutchman rules confidently on the track in Abu Dhabi, followed by the two Mercedes drivers. Vettel cannot emphasize the Scuderia in the last race either.
Max Verstappen won the last race of the 2020 Formula 1 season. The Dutchman triumphed in the Red Bull ahead of Valtteri Bottas and world champion Lewis Hamilton (both Mercedes). Sebastian Vettel finished 14th in his last race for Ferrari, landing directly behind teammate Charles Leclerc.
“I really enjoyed it out there. If you start at the front, you can control the speed better, that makes life easier,” said Verstappen about his unusual role.
Vettel as bad as it has been since 2007
Sebastian Vettel, who celebrated his first of four world titles with the Red Bull ten years ago, said goodbye to Scuderia in 14th place after six years. A result that fits into the picture at the end of a disastrous season for the Heppenheimer and the Italian national racing team.
Such as World Cup 13. Vettel has underperformed since his (semi) debut season in 2007. Ferrari finished the constructors’ championship in sixth place, most recently the most successful racing team in Formula 1 history was lower in 1980.
Verstappen has dealt Mercedes its first defeat since the start of the hybrid era in 2014 at the Yas Marina Circuit. In the spotlight and in front of Mick Schumacher, who was on the track for the last time as a “fan”, it was tenth Formula 1 success for the Dutchman not enough to push Bottas (Finland) from second place in the world championship.
Bitter race for Sergio Perez
Hamilton had to sit out in Bahrain last week because of his corona disease. Only Thursday did he get the green light for his start at the night event in Abu Dhabi. The 35-year-old Briton was in good shape, but did not achieve the dominance with which he had secured his seventh title in the fourth final race of the season.
After an unspectacular start with no significant change of position, the race gained momentum on lap 11: the race point of Sakhir surprise winner Sergio Perez, who still has no cockpit for 2021, rolled out due to a breakdown. Race management proclaimed the virtual safety car, almost all teams changed their tires earlier than originally planned. “It will be a long way to the finish”, Hamilton complained on the pit radio: “In my opinion this is not a good strategy.”
Vettel, who started on the hardest tire compound, was one of the few drivers to stay out and only temporarily climbed from his indisputable 13th place on the grid to the points. After the 35th of 55 laps he switched to medium tires and had to fight back from 15th place.
“Will miss the boys in the garage”
“I’m looking forward to seeing the checkered flag. The season was so bad that I’m very happy it’s over now,” said Vettel before the last race of 161 days, the shortest season in nearly 60 years: Looking back over the years, I think we had a great time together. I will especially miss the guys in the garage. “
The motto for the whole weekend at Ferrari was “Grazie Seb”. The Ferrari employees lined up and applauded as Vettel drove out of the Red’s garage for the last time.
In the new year, the 33-year-old dares to make a fresh start at Aston Martin. The second German in the field is Mick Schumacher in the Haas, who made his Formula 1 training debut for his future team in Abu Dhabi on Friday. On Tuesday, the 21-year-old son of record world champion Michael Schumacher can gain further experience in the young drivers test in Abu Dhabi.