Sebastian Vettel was spotted crying moments after completing his final Formula One Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. The four-time world champion admitted he would miss the sport in a passionate speech after getting out of the car.
The German, 35, finished P10 in Abu Dhabi but Aston Martin failed to secure sixth in the Constructors’ Championship as Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren pipped Vettel to ninth.
After the race, an emotional Vettel said: “You know how it is. I wish it would have been a couple more points. But I enjoyed the race, I think it was a bit of a different warm-up today to get into the race, but once the lights go off it’s full on race mode.
“Today we maybe didn’t go for the best strategy. It was a shame because I think we could have turned the constructors’ championship around for us. Overall a big day, and a big thank you to all the support. So many flags and so many smiling faces, which has been very special, very nice.
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Vettel did some doughnuts for the crowd after the chequered flag to sign off on his 15-year career, which yielded four Drivers’ Championships with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013. Fernando Alonso had suggested he would get involved with the celebrations ahead of the weekend but was unable to after retiring.
Vettel started the race from ninth and initially challenged the Alpine of Esteban Ocon in the opening laps. However, Aston Martin kept him out to do a one-stop strategy which saw him drop to the back of the field after his first stop.
The German fought back through the field but criticised the team’s decision over the radio. He told his race engineer: “How did we get our strategy so wrong?”