Sebastian Vettel is hoping to end his sixth season with Scuderia Ferrari on a high as his time with the team comes to an end this weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
As the chequered flag falls on Sunday, it will mark the German’s 118th race with the Scuderia, where in this time he scored fourteen wins making him the third most successful driver to race for the team behind Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda.
This year has somewhat taken the edge away from Vettel’s achievements with the Italian team, with his season plagued by power issues, and narrowly scraping into the points was commonplace. It must be said that Vettel has had some of his best career wins while at Ferrari, particularly when he shared the podium with Kimi Raikkonen.
Reflecting on his time with Ferrari, Vettel said: “I want to say goodbye with a good performance, even if it won’t be easy. I’d like to do it for all the guys in the team who this season have dealt with an exhausting schedule to make sure we can race.”
“Wins, there were a good few of those, even if not as many as I’d have liked. For sure, I treasure the first one, in Malaysia in 2015 and then Monaco in 2017, after the team had not won there for 16 years. I would also add Canada 2018, a win in a significant season, which did not go the way we had hoped for but in which we were very competitive.”
Charles Leclerc will dedicate a special helmet design to the four-time champion and his team-mate of two years, over the weekend.
Leading up to his final race of the 2020, Leclerc reflected on his second season with Ferrari, which had been a contrast to Vettel’s albeit with some struggles with the car’s performance. It will be more of a challenge for Leclerc as his three place grid penalty will be applied following his first lap incident with Sergio Perez at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
The Monagasque racer said: “I’ve already said how important this year has been for me. I think I have made progress in all areas and I believe I will benefit from the experience gained in this difficult 2020.
“In the end, it is what it is and this year, I have made up a lot of places at the start and in the opening laps. But sometimes, being that aggressive can go too far, as was the case in Austria and also in Sakhir with Sergio and Max.”