With his Formula 1 career drawing to a close, Sebastian Vettel was asked if he could summarise his feelings in only five words.
The Aston Martin driver is set to retire and bring one of the all-time great Formula 1 careers to an end after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend, with four World Championships and 53 race victories to his name.
He is clearly held in the highest esteem among the paddock, with drivers and team bosses having spoken warmly of the German as he prepares to end his time as a Formula 1 driver – with incoming Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso even running a helmet in Vettel’s colours in tribute to his long-time rival.
Responding to fan questions about his career, Vettel picked out the most important facets of his time in Formula 1.
“I mean, obviously, I have a huge passion for driving, so passion is one,” Vettel said in Aston Martin’s ‘At The Bar’ series, presented by Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%.
“I think working within a team environment [too], so there’s spirit. The speed, just with these cars, has been incredible.
“The competition, because obviously I’m not on my own. You’re fighting all the other drivers, other teams, and it’s a massive motivation to win.
“I think satisfaction, just driving these cars has always made me happy and I always felt satisfied so maybe I would pick those five really.”
When asked a further question about which track he would most like to try and drive backwards, his answer was both fast and unequivocal: “Suzuka. I guess it’s so good the right way around, it must be great the wrong way around as well.”
Having met and interacted with legions of his fans around the world since his arrival in Formula 1, he also spoke of the bond he has been able to build up with them over time and how their love of motorsport feeds into what he and his team do on race weekends.
“I had so many memorable ones and crazy ones and really nice ones,” he explained of his memories of meeting his fans.
“When I realise how inspired people felt by what we do as a team, what we do as a sport, I think, to see and witness first hand their emotions and the passion they carry for the sport, which is very similar to the passion that we have.
“So you feel that connection, but then to feel how special it is for them to maybe meet you in that in that moment.”
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