Abu Dhabi (dpa) – Sebastian Vettel has set himself a modest goal for the final chase in the Ferrari.
“If we can make a really good lap together, maybe we can make it to the third section. That would be positive for my last race with the team,” said the four-time world champion before qualifying on Saturday (2 pm / RTL and Sky). If Vettel reached the so-called Q3, the last part of qualifying, he would at least be sure of a place in the top ten in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. In the beginning, however, he again had problems with training – the season finale threatens to be sobering too.
After six years, the Scuderia is over for Vettel. His last season will also be the worst, the Hessian cannot improve from 13th place. What hopefully started in 2015, ends with a big disappointment without the long-awaited world title with the Italians. From next year, Vettel will start again at the English car manufacturer Aston Martin. Vettel’s expectation and hope for improvement are great. For that he wants to say goodbye to Ferrari as well as possible.
“We need to do more to get the tires working,” said Vettel. Getting the tires to the right temperature is one of the things Ferrari has been unable to achieve in recent months. Vettel never really got along with the current SF1000. He has been without a win in Singapore since September 2019, third place in Turkey was the only podium this season.
Leaving that behind will be easy for Vettel. However, he announced on Friday that saying goodbye to his mechanics and fans will not be so easy. “It will certainly be emotional,” Vettel said of the situation on Sunday. Ferrari – that was his childhood dream. He wants to remember the time well, even though the really big win didn’t materialize and he had to say, “We failed.”
He himself rides in the United Arab Emirates on weekends with a very special helmet. In addition to statistics such as his 14 wins, 55 podium places or a total of 1400 World Cup points for Ferrari, it also shows the German and Italian flags. The head protection should shine in Abu Dhabi at night – and perhaps remind you of better times a bit. He has already won three times in the desert, but with Red Bull.
And what are the benefits for Ferrari at the 118th start? Probably not much. The route is not the car, Vettel said. Teammate Charles Leclerc did a little better in training, but is also not allowed to finish in the front. The Monegasse says goodbye to his teammate with a nice gesture and wears the words “Thank you Seb” on his helmet. “I appreciate that he has dedicated his helmet to me,” said Vettel: “I hope we can give the fans what they are happy with this weekend.”