It was “a bit strange” going into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with the idea “that [it would be] the last one”, says Sebastian Vettel. The four-time Formula 1 world champion turned his back on the racing series after the 2022 season finale and ended his Formula 1 career.
On “ServusTV”, Vettel now explained that he had been “aware” of the implications of the final event, “but you don’t really know what to expect then”, said the German. When asked about a possible job within F1, the German categorically ruled out the job.
The bottom line is that Vettel’s expectations may have been exceeded: Formula 1 gave the ex-champion a grand farewell and honoured him for his Grand Prix career, among other things, directly after crossing the finish line in Abu Dhabi.
Much praise and recognition for Vettel
But actually, the entire weekend was dominated by Vettel’s imminent retirement. The Aston Martin driver received a lot of praise, most of the participants found very warm words for him.
Vettel himself says:
“I think I was very, very lucky to be able to celebrate such a farewell and also the recognition from the other drivers meant a lot to me, also the whole paddock. I think the atmosphere the whole weekend was very, very nice towards me and I think something very special.”
The most memorable part of the weekend was the honour parade for Vettel immediately before the start of the final race, as well as the spontaneous applause from his fellow drivers before the final group photo together on the home straight.
Sebastian Vettel is not sure what the future will bring
Scenes like these had gripped him emotionally, Vettel admits.
“Then of course it’s hard,” he says. Especially since he had lived in the motorsport rhythm for decades and this time has now come to an end.
Or as Vettel himself puts it:
“You’ve grown up in the world that somehow it always goes on. And I am sure that it will also continue for me, even if it will be in a different form. And yes, I’m looking forward to the tasks that await me, even if I don’t yet know exactly what they will be.”
But there is one thing Vettel categorically rules out after his retirement from Formula 1: That he will remain in close contact with the racing series that has shaped his career as a media representative.
Asked specifically whether he would like to become a co-commentator on television, Vettel said: “No, no, no, please don’t. No, thank you.
“I think there are others who can do it better.”