Four-times Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel bowed out of Ferrari on Sunday with one final, barely wobbly, music of thanks over the radio in Italian and a big trophy as a parting reward.
The German, who had hoped to emulate boyhood hero and Ferrari nice Michael Schumacher when he arrived at Maranello, completed 14th within the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and one place behind teammate Charles Leclerc.
“Grazie Seb,” was written on a pit board because the staff assembled for a gaggle photograph accompanied by a big Champions League-style trophy celebrating Vettel’s 14 wins in six years in Italy.
Vettel, who’s becoming a member of Aston Martin (the renamed Racing Point) subsequent season, ranks third on the record of Ferrari’s all-time winners and is essentially the most profitable to not win a championship with them.
He additionally notched up 12 poles and 55 podiums for the Italian staff in addition to 14 quickest laps.
“It was an emotional day with the mechanics waving goodbye on the grid. I felt there were a different dynamic and tension there,” the German, who received his titles with Red Bull from 2010-13, informed reporters.
“I am sad for the guys, I will miss them but also happy to embark on a new journey.”
After the race, he gave a farewell rendition of ‘Azzurro’, a well-liked 1960s music by Adriano Celentano, on his slowing down lap.
“Every time I was really excited for some reason (at Ferrari) I started to sing and I think it was a nice way for one last time to sing again,” he stated.
“I changed the lyrics so I hope I don’t get in trouble with copyright. I think it was a good way to express my gratitude for the team.”
Vettel stated the trophy took him without warning: “I’ve never finished P14 before and got a trophy so it was definitely a nice memory.”
He added that he had no regrets, however would miss the various associates he had made.
“I have learned so much from this team and they have given me so much. I am very grateful for that,” he stated.
The pandemic-hit 2020 season, with Ferrari slumping to sixth total and their worst efficiency in 40 years, was a poor reflection on the good occasions that they had collectively, he added.
“I think nothing about today should get mentioned,” stated the 33-year-old, whose lows have been extra frequent than the highs of late.
“I think it was quite a bad and poor race from us but I enjoyed it.”