Four-Time Champion Sebastian Vettel Says Goodbye To Formula 1. These Are His TOP 10 MOMENTS
During his career, the German went from hated to one of the most popular drivers.
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Sebastian Vettel completed his last race in his Formula 1 career today in Abu Dhabi. However, some of his colleagues think he will be back and this is not his final retirement. Even Vettel himself did not completely rule out a possible return.
"I think it's natural to you look at other things. I don't know yet, that's the only answer," the four-time champion responded to questions about his future at Thursday's press conference. For now, however, it is true that the German pilot has finished and the whole world of Formula 1 has said goodbye to him.
And the farewell was proper and quite emotional. The native of Heppenheim left behind a huge mark and created several records, which he still holds today. Vettel is the youngest world champion in the history of Formula 1 and also holds the record for the number of consecutive victories. In his most dominant season in 2013, he won all 9 Grand Prix after the summer break, a feat that no one has been able to repeat or surpass.
A rocket entry into F1 and a rich career
Sebastian Vettel made his last Formula 1 Grand Prix start in Abu Dhabi. At the start of the season, he was forced to miss the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to covid, so his number of starts stopped at number 299, which ranks him seventh in the historical tables. Fernando Alonso has the most starts (356).
The young German, whose role model was Michael Schumacher, completed his first Grand Prix in the 2007 season in the USA for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. As a replacement for Robert Kubica, who had a terrible accident at the Canadian Grand Prix, Vettel finished 8th on his debut, which convinced the Scuderia Toro Rosso (or Red Bull Racing) team management, to offer him the seat of their current driver Scott Speed.
The 2008 season was followed by his iconic victory at rainy Monza in a car that finished 6th in the Constructors' Cup. This season, Vettel crushed teammate Sébastien Bourdais 35-4 in the points and what followed was German's move to the main Red Bull Racing team. The rest is history.
Second place in 2009, four world titles in four years, two of which were decided in the last race and two of which were completely dominant, losing to Ricciardo, moving to Ferrari and fighting in the shadow of Mercedes, losing to Leclerc, moving to Aston Martin and great performances at the very end of the career. That was the career of Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel in a nutshell.
The world of Formula 1 says goodbye to a great champion
During the past weekend in Abu Dhabi, the whole world of Formula 1 said goodbye to Vettel. On the occasion of his last Grand Prix, in his honor, Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher prepared special helmet designs that copied Vettel's iconic helmet with the German tricolor.
Fernando Alonso's helmet design at Sebastian Vettel's last Grand Prix.
Mick Schumacher's helmet design at Sebastian Vettel's last Grand Prix.
Before the weekend in Abu Dhabi, George Russell exchanged helmets with Vettel, who said on this occasion that the first Grand Prix he was at was Silverstone 2009 and he only remembers the start and how Vettel led in the first corner. The Mercedes pilot also admitted that he bought a Red Bull sweatshirt that weekend at Silverstone, which he still has at home.
The drivers thank Vettel and say goodbye to him in a video prepared by the Aston Martin team.
The Formula 1 channel is also saying goodbye to the great champion through a beautiful video, which has prepared a compilation of pilots' statements about Vettel as a great personality. Max Verstappen's statement probably says the most about what Vettel really is.
“One thing I'll never forget is when I came back from the hospital at Silverstone back to the motorhome to collect my things, he was waiting there and asked how I was. He stayed there to make sure I was okay. These are the things that basically describe him, he is a very nice and caring person and he really means it," said the reigning world champion about Vettel.
Vettel's farewell to the fans and the pit lane after qualifying in Abu Dhabi.
Vettel also said goodbye to Ferrari, which was part of his career for six long seasons. The Maranello stable gave him an engine cover from the single-seater Vettel raced with, signed by all team members and current drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
Alonso and Hamilton believe in his return
The two champions, who have been Vettel's biggest rivals at different stages of his career, believe the German's farewell is not yet final and predict his return to Formula 1. Both agreed during press conferences on Thursday.
"But in 2018, even on my front wing it was written: 'See you later', not 'Goodbye.' In my head at the time, 2021 and the new rules resonated as an opportunity to come back," Fernando Alonso said of Vettel's career end.
"He'll probably come back. We're seeing other riders coming back, so I'm sitting here kind of accepting that yes, it's your last race, but you're going to come back. Formula 1 has a way of pulling you back, we've seen that with many other drivers," Lewis Hamilton said to Vettel.
TOP 10 MOMENTS of Sebastian Vettel in Formula 1
First point at the first US Grand Prix 2007
He scored his first point on his Formula 1 debut at the 2007 US Grand Prix. At the age of 19 years, 11 months and 14 days, he became (at the time) the youngest pilot in history to score a point in this motorsport. Since then, Daniil Kvyat, Lando Norris, Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen managed to surpass him.
Overtaking two rivals during the safety car at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel is known to be a very analytical and intelligent driver who perfectly manages not only his car but also the rules. He fully demonstrated during at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix, when he headed to the pits during the safety car exit, along with Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz in front of him.
To the surprise of both drivers, Vettel overtook them on the approach to the pit lane, showing his intelligence, cunning and perfect knowledge of the rules, as he was the only one of the trio to realize that he could go full speed between the first safety car line and the start of the pit lane even during the safety exit Tsar. Thanks to this maneuver, he took second place at the aforementioned Grand Prix.
Record qualifying round at the 2018 German Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel's fans do not like to mention the 2018 German Grand Prix. The German's fall from the leading position is considered by many to be a turning point in his career, eventhough he was able to take second place and then claim victory in the following two Grands Prix. The day before the German Grand Prix, however, things were looking great for Ferrari and Vettel. The native of Heppenheim drove an almost perfect lap in the final qualifying attempt, breaking the Hockenheimring circuit record and claiming pole position.
The legendary 'Vettel v. Alonso' at Silverstone 2014
The 2014 season was not successful at all for Vettel. The defeat by the young Ricciardo was a cold shower for the reigning four-time champion. Nevertheless, this season Vettel was able to prove several times that he is still a top driver.
In the legendary fight with Fernando Alonso, Vettel showed stronger nerves and overtook his rival at the Copse corner. Many Formula 1 fans still remember this fight, which lifted the spectators from their seats and ended with the aforementioned overtaking maneuver.
First podium for Aston Martin at the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
After the 2020 season, Vettel transferred from Ferrari to Aston Martin. The start of the season did not go well for either the team or the German, and many already wrote him off. The first better performance and the first points came at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, and two weeks later, Vettel convinced all the doubters that he is still fit for Formula 1 and can deliver a performance worthy of a top driver.
In the crazy race in Azerbaijan, he took a great second place in the final sprint to the finish after the red flag. Max Verstappen's puncture and Lewis Hamilton's memorable braking in the first corner after the restart contributed to this, but no one could question Vettel's great performance.
From the pits to the podium in Abu Dhabi 2012
At the end of the 2012 season, Vettel was battling Alonso for the world title and every point counted. Three Grands Prix before the end of the year, at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Vettel was disqualified due to lack of fuel in the tank and started from the pits on Sunday. To make matters worse, he damaged his front wing at the start of the race, which he subsequently had to replace. This was followed by a brilliant pursuit drive, after which he ended up in third place and remained in the title fight.
First victory in Ferrari colors in Malaysia 2015
After the 2014 season, which was dominated by Mercedes, Vettel moved from Red Bull to Ferrari. The first race of the season meant another double for the Silver Arrows, but in the second competition weekend, Vettel burned the pond with the faster Mercedes. A second-place start, a different strategy from the Silver Arrows and a perfect drive by Vettel meant Ferrari's first victory in almost two years.
Master's "comeback" in Brazil 2012
Vettel came to Brazil in 2012 as the favorite for the title. After a bad start and a collision at the beginning of the race, his dream of a third title began to slowly fade away. However, Vettel did not give up and showed his mastery in rainy conditions with a significantly damaged car. After a brilliant performance, he was able to return to the necessary sixth place, which ensured his third title in a row.
Outsider won the title in Abu Dhabi 2010
Before Abu Dhabi in 2010, the main contenders for the title were Fernando Alonso at Ferrari and Mark Webber at Red Bull. Alonso led by 8 points ahead of Webber and 15 points ahead of Vettel. Everything turned in Vettel's favor in the race. Webber and Ferrari's early pit stop strategy proved wrong as the title favorites got stuck behind the slower cars after exiting the pits.
This was used perfectly by Vettel on Red Bull and Hamilton and Button on McLarens. Vettel finally crossed the finish line first when the now iconic radio rang in his ears: "You just wait sunshine, you just wait. Hamilton P2, Button P3, Rosberg P4, Kubica P5, Du bist Weltmeister," after which we heard a happy crying young Vettel thanking his team. Vettel is still the youngest world champion in Formula 1 history.
A shocking win in a non-winning car at Monza 2008
In 2008, the Italian team Toro Rosso took as high as 6th place in the Constructors' Cup. Such weak single-seaters do not win in Formula 1 even under unpredictable circumstances that happen to the top teams from time to time. However, this assumption was refuted by the young Vettel at the Italian Grand Prix in 2008. In his first full season, he performed several great performances, but he shocked the whole world at the Monza circuit. He took pole position in rainy conditions and won his first Grand Prix a day later, becoming the youngest winner in Formula 1. This record was broken only by Max Verstappen at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.
You can watch all the mentioned top moments of Sebastian Vettel's career
on the Formula 1 YouTube channel via the videos above.
You can watch a compilation of these
top moments in this video.
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