Sebastian Vettel’s career will draw to an end at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the scene of his first Formula 1 Title triumph back in 2010, and he just wants to enjoy it.
The German announced earlier this season that he will be retiring from the sport at the end of the 2022 F1 season after two unsuccessful seasons with Aston Martin.
Vettel however can look back on an impressive career in top flight over which he became a four-time Champion winning 53 grands prix, having started 57 of his 298 races from pole – Abu Dhabi will be his 299th.
Vettel won all of his four Titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, but after an underwhelming 2014 season with the energy drinks outfit, the start of Mercedes-dominated turbo-hybrid era, where he was beaten by new teammate at the time Daniel Ricciardo.
He moved to Ferrari in 2015 and remained there until the 2020 season; six years in Red did not deliver Title success despite coming close in 2017 and 2018, leading to an acrimonious split before the 2020 season even started.
An unsuccessful stint at Aston Martin
The 35-year-old switched the Aston Martin in 2021 and will finish his career with the team in 2022 after two disappointing seasons that did not see the team improve, and while Vettel gave Aston Martin their first podium in Baku in 2021, and followed that with another in Hungary (stripped for a fuel irregularity), his stint in Green cannot be considered successful by any means.
Vettel is now gearing up for his final race in F1 in Abu Dhabi this weekend; he said in his team’s preview: “This is obviously going to be a very emotional weekend as my Grand Prix career draws to a close.
“I am sure that this race will bring back plenty of happy memories from the last 15 years, and I want to enjoy my last race with the team and with everyone I have met during my time in the sport.
“It has been a fantastic two years with Aston Martin F1, with lots of fun moments and some great memories. I want to go out on a high, so we will go and fight hard and deliver a great result at the circuit where I secured my first world title, 12 years ago,” the Aston Martin driver added.
A quick trip down memory lane
Vettel made his debut in F1 with BMW Sauber in 2007 replacing team regular Robert Kubica at the United States Grand Prix that year. He qualified seventh and finished the race eighth, becoming the youngest F1 driver to score points.
Vettel then moved to Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) for the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix onwards, giving the team their first win at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, a race he started from pole.
Red Bull came calling in 2009, and Vettel joined the squad finishing runner up in the Championship behind Champion Jenson Button in his first season with them.
Title success began in 2010 for the Vettel/Red Bull combo who went on to utterly dominate F1 for four consecutive seasons winning their last Title double in 2013.
After Red Bull, Vettel’s best seasons were 2017 and 2018 at Ferrari, where he finished runner up to Lewis Hamilton ultimately failing to bring the Title back to Maranello.