Formula 1: Sebastian Vettel's classy goodbye message to Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc


Sebastian Vettel competed for the final time as a Ferrari driver this past weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The race itself was not a success for the former four-time world champion as he could finish no better than 13th overall. 

Vettel's contributions for Ferrari over his six-year stint with the team were fittingly acknowledged by his teammate Charles Leclerc throughout race weekend, though, with the 23-year-old wearing a specially-made helmet displaying the message "Danke, Seb" on it.

The pair may have had their issues on the track during their time as colleagues, but it seems they still share a deep respect for one another.

At the conclusion of proceedings at the Yas Marina Circuit, Leclerc swapped helmets with Vettel. However, before passing his own helmet back, the German inscribed it with some touching words - as well as some high praise:

"To Charles, you are the most talented driver I came across in 15 years of F1," wrote Vettel.

"Don’t waste it. But be sure whatever you do to be happy and smile. Thanks for everything!"

Leclerc himself also struggled in Abu Dhabi, placing eighth in the race - a position that mirrors his finish in the 2020 Drivers' Championship. Vettel clearly believes that the 23-year-old has the potential to achieve great things in the sport, though. 

Ferrari themselves will be hopeful of a stronger campaign in 2021, when Carlos Sainz Jr arrives to fill the void left by Vettel. An improvement on the team's sixth-place finish in the Constructors' Championship this year will be a must for the Scuderia.

For this to happen, though, the team will need to work hard over the next few months to give their drivers a car that is capable of being competitive. Ferrari's total of just 131 points gained in 2020 shows just how far they were off the pace. 

Whilst Vettel did not manage to add to his haul of Drivers' Championships at Ferrari, he clearly left a great impression on those he worked alongside, including Leclerc.

The 33-year-old German moves to Aston Martin next season (Racing Point's replacement team), where he takes the spot occupied during this campaign by Sergio Perez.

Following a frustrating 2020, Vettel will no doubt be looking forward to his fresh start.

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