Sebastian Vettel is officially a retired Formula 1 driver, something that truly sounds bizarre given the amount of success he’s enjoyed.
The German’s last race was somewhat of a disappointment, but not through his fault.
Vettel qualified ninth for his last race at the Yas Marina Circuit and actually enjoyed a strong opening stint; however, it was far too long.
It became clear fairly early on in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that Aston Martin had decided to run a long opening stint with the 35-year-old, meaning he’d be incredibly fast at the end of the race.
This strategy proved to be the wrong one, as towards the end of his opening stint the 35-year-old began to tumble down the order.
He ultimately had a huge task in his second stint to get back into the points, something he just about did thanks to Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton retiring.
Vettel’s 10th place finish and Lance Stroll’s P8 was ultimately not enough for the Silverstone-based side to snatch sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, with the team having come up agonisingly short.
Whilst they finished level on points with Alfa Romeo, the Swiss side claimed sixth due to them having achieved a better result this season, with Valtteri Bottas having finished fifth at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Vettel’s father labelled the team’s strategy as a “disaster”, one that has seriously cost the side.
“A strategic disaster,” Vettel’s father said.
“They (Aston Martin) just lost $12 million.”
Whilst the German will be disappointed to have not sealed sixth for the team, he probably won’t reflect on it for long given that it was his final race in the sport.
Some have questioned what he’ll do next, with Hamilton having predicted that the 53-time Grand Prix winner will return one day.
Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko seemingly believes the same, with the Austrian suggesting that the four-time World Champion could return one day in a “top management position”.
“We can all see what personality and what gap he will leave here,” Marko told Servus TV.
“But it is his voluntary decision and I am sure that whatever he will do in the future will be something that satisfies him.
“It’s not out of the question that he’ll come back in a top management position. I’m almost 80 so that would be something,” the Austrian smiled.
Marko, like Hamilton, hasn’t ruled out Vettel returning to the sport as a driver once again.
“Let’s let him plant a few trees now, then we’ll see what happens,” he said.