Sebastian Vettel has finished his final race as an F1 driver at the Abu Dhabi GP with a points finish for Aston Martin, but the four-time world champion said it could have been even more.
Vettel signs off from F1 after 15 years in the sport and four consecutive world championship titles with Red Bull and stints at Ferrari and finally Aston Martin as one of the most decorated drivers’ in history.
The German has received a flood of tributes in the build up to his final race, and took the time to spin some last donuts on the grid at Yas Marina after the race before he stepped out of the car for the final time to applause.
However, despite securing a points finish, Vettel said he was disappointed to have missed out on more positions after the team opted to run long on their first stint in the hopes of pulling off a one-stop strategy, but the gamble didn’t pay off.
The driver could have secured another $12 million for Aston Martin by beating the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo to the line, but he just missed out and had to settle for 10th at the end.
That didn’t stop the fans though from voting him F1 Driver of the Day in his last race.
Not sunk in
Speaking to reporters after the race, Vettel said that it would take some time for his retirement to sink in, but that even in his final outing he was left wanting more for the performance.
“I’m waiting for it to kick in. It’s been a busy weekend. I think it will hit me at some point, probably when I go to bed tonight or for what it was,” he said.
“But it was absolutely the wrong strategy. So it was a shame we’re going backwards. So I was really trying. But yeah, I gave it all.”
“It was a shame I was left behind in the beginning, because I felt they had a better, better day. But then we stayed out way too long and lost so much.”