‘I enjoyed every lap’ – Vettel delighted with final F1 qualifying run but wishes he had ‘one more set of tyres’
Sebastian Vettel was left feeling “very happy” with his performance after making it through to Q3 and claiming ninth on the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as the German featured in an F1 qualifying session for the final time.
Vettel will walk away from the sport after this weekend’s finale at the Yas Marina Circuit, with 57 pole positions, 53 race wins and four world titles to his name across almost 300 race starts in the top echelon.
And, in his last-ever qualifying appearance, Vettel gave his fans one more cause for celebration as he charged his way out of Q1 and Q2, before delivering a lap strong enough for ninth position in Q3 – despite being limited to one run on fresh softs, having used up the rest of his allocation.
“I was very pleased with how the session went – very happy. We got everything together,” reflected Vettel, whose father, Norbert, joined him in the Aston Martin garage ahead of the session.
“I wish I had another set [of soft tyres] in that last segment, but overall, I think it was very good for us. It puts us in a good spot for tomorrow.”
As for the feelings generated by his farewell qualifying session, he added: “It’s the bit where you are able to go fastest and push the limit, so I enjoyed every lap that I had. [I have] no regrets today, it was a good day!”
Vettel is now focused on converting his strong qualifying position into points, as Aston Martin look to overturn a five-point deficit to Alfa Romeo in the constructors’ standings and claim P6.
“We have a job on our hands, we want to beat those [Alfa Romeos] and try to get sixth [in the standings], so let’s see what we can do,” added Vettel, who will be hoping to capitalise on Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas starting back in P15 and P18 respectively.