Vettel: Some memories took me back straight to 1995

Vettel: Some memories took me back straight to 1995

Vettel: Some memories took me back straight to 1995
Sebastian Vettel was met with a number of tributes as he entered the Formula 1 paddock for his final grand prix weekend before retirement.

The German is contesting his 299th grand prix in Abu Dhabi this weekend, his final race in top flight after a 16-year-career that started in 2007.

He leaves the sport a quadruple F1 Champion with 53 race wins and 57 pole positions to his name, the youngest F1 driver to date to win the Championship.

On Friday, Aston Martin arranged a proper tribute for their retiring driver, having his first race suit and helmet on display in the team garage, while the phrase “Danke Seb” was featuring on the AMR22’s halo and the garage walls.

Vettel father Norbert was also there to support his son on his final F1 race weekend, having been there for him from the very beginning in karts back in 1995.

Furthermore, Mick Schumacher, Vettel’s friend and protégé, and son of Michael Schumacher, Vettel’s mentor and idol wore a special helmet as a tribute for the his friend.

Fernando Alonso, Vettel’s main rival in the years between 2010 and 2013, when the two fought – Vettel at Red Bull, Alonso at Ferrari – also had a special helmet to honour his rival.

Vettel emerged victorious from his fights with Alonso, the Spaniard running him close in 2010 and 2012, but ultimately failing to beat him.

Last Friday feels a bit funny

Speaking of his feelings after seeing all those tributes, Vettel said: “Yeah, obviously it’s a long time ago, but yeah, I still saw the suit, obviously, there’s some memories that took me back straight to 1995, so it’s been a while – but it’s been very nice.

In his team’s Friday brief, Vettel added: “It has been like many other Fridays, to be honest! Once you drive out of the garage, you get into the rhythm and try and get in the groove with the car which did not take long this afternoon.

“It was the same again this evening with how the track changes here when the sun sets,” he added. “It does feel a bit funny that it is the last Friday, however.

“All in all, a productive day with plenty of laps. We will see what we can do overnight and how we can improve ahead of tomorrow,” the 32-year-old concluded.

Vettel finished FP1 sixth fastest, but dropped down to 12th in the second practice on Friday.