Vettel can understand the frustration of the Stuttgart at least with a view to the deviation from the usual procedure: “It was weird. Normally it is always allowed. It also makes no sense that we then stay in the same order, ”explains Vettel, referring to the announcement made by race director Michael Masi that those who had lapped must not lap back, which the Australian conquered a little later.
Vettel even became active on the team radio himself in the situation: “You should have done that (rounding back; d. Ed.) Much earlier. I made the suggestion on the radio, right in the first lap behind the SafetyCar, because it was clear to me that the main focus would of course be on the world championship fight. “
From the drama that followed in the final round, Vettel himself “didn’t notice that much”, as the Heppenheimer reveals: “I only saw that the Dutch jumped up in the last round. Then I knew that Max had passed. Lewis didn’t have a lot of chances with the tires in the end, ”says the four-time world champion.
And further: “Both would have deserved the title, that’s why I congratulate both of them after this season and this race – even if it was a bit of a lottery today with the safety car,” says the Aston Martin star .
Vettel’s own race ends far away from the fight for the title in eleventh position. “As I said, it was a bit of a shame not to let the cars go earlier so that we can have a race. That made it a boring ending and a bit stupid for us at least back there. It would have been nice otherwise maybe at least one more point, ”said Vettel.
Vettel wins overtaking award
There is still something positive for Vettel on Sunday, the Aston Martin driver dusts off the title for the driver with the most overtaking maneuvers of the season: “That is of course also because we started too far back too often. Then we made up ground and that was fun as far as racing was concerned – but not so much in terms of pure results. “
For Vettel’s buddy and compatriot Mick Schumacher, his first year in Formula 1 ends in a conciliatory manner, in Abu Dhabi the Haas driver turns 14: “We have chosen a different strategy than most of the rest of the field and I think it did works just fine for us. We got the hard tire to work and were able to fight with Latifi, so overall we can be very happy with what we did today, ”commented Schumacher.
At the end of the season he received great praise from team boss Günther Steiner: “For us it was the best race this year. Mick did a fantastic job, he fought the whole race, “says the Austrian and adds:” We know that our car is what it is – but cars that have beaten us all year round were out of control today behind us. It is very good to go into winter this way. “