Despite having a difficult final season, Sebastian Vettel leaves Ferrari as the third-most winning driver in the history of the Scuderia and he will be looking forward to having a clean slate next year at Aston Martin Racing.
At his final race weekend with Ferrari in Abu Dhabi, the Maranello-based team hailed Vettel’s professionalism and thanked him for staying positive despite the SF1000 being woefully uncompetitive for most of the season.
Laurent Mekies, Ferrari’s sporting director, said it was a “very special Sunday” and thanked Sebastian Vettel for his years of service.
“We certainly don’t feel like it’s a normal Sunday. It’s a very special Sunday because it’s Seb’s last race,” Mekies said after the Abu Dhabi GP, which the team failed to score a single point in.
“We wanted to say a real thank you to Seb for what have been these six years with us. He’s the third-most winning driver in Ferrari history.
“What we will keep with us is that he is an outstanding professional, that in good moments and in bad moments has been part of the team, putting it together,” he added.
Continuing, Mekies acknowledged that their relationship wasn’t ending on a high, but he praised the four-time World Champion for remaining positive.
“Of course we are finishing in the most difficult scenario possible, but even in these conditions, it’s been a year where he has been pulling us together, always keeping constructive and positive no matter what difficulties we were having.
“That’s the way you drive [for] large teams like us, with everybody at the race track and Maranello.”
Meanwhile, Vettel said he will “cherish” his time with Ferrari despite him failing to win a World Championship with them.
“I have no regrets looking back. Certainly there’s been mistakes, there have been highs and lows but I think it has sunk in.
“I’m not normally the most emotional guy, it’s not today that I will remember after finishing 14th, but looking at the big picture it’s a day that I will treasure,” he added.