Sebastian Vettel admits he was a bit emotional before qualifying for the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, though that didn’t stop him from finishing with the ninth-fastest time.
The German is bringing an end to his 15-year career on Sunday, and there’s been no shortage of tributes for the four-time World Champion.
Vettel turned back the clock with an impressive showing in qualifying, finishing well within the cutoff time in Q1 and Q2.
He’ll start his final Grand Prix from ninth on the grid after finishing one-tenth back of Alpine‘s Esteban Ocon, and he admits he would have loved another shot at improving his time given his strong pace.
“It was coming alive,” Vettel told Sky Sports F1. “I felt really comfortable at the end of Q1 and then Q2.
“I would have liked to have another set [of tyres] in Q3, but all in all, I think it was a good session and we qualified the car in a decent spot.
“I’m still in the zone now, but it was a bit emotional before qualifying. I’m sure it will be a big day tomorrow.
Vettel focused on Sunday’s Grand Prix
Although Sunday’s race will be the last of his career, Vettel isn’t planning on taking things easy.
Aston Martin currently sit five points back of Alfa Romeo for sixth in the constructors’ standings.
Teammate Lance Stroll starts 14th, while Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas are down in 15th and 18th for Alfa, and Vettel says he’ll do all that he can to overturn that deficit.
“We have a task on our hand, we’ll try to beat the Alfa and score as many points to maybe get sixth in the constructors, so we’ll see what happens,” said Vettel.