Sebastian Vettel had his mind on finishing ahead of Alfa Romeo despite the emotion of heading into his final Grand Prix.
The former world champion announced earlier in the season that this would be his final Formula One campaign, and he is now facing down his last race.
His erstwhile rival Lewis Hamilton has said that he is struggling to come to terms with Vettel’s exit, and even predicted he would return to the sport in due course, and the German’s tone was business as usual, suggesting his focus on success had not been diminished by his impending exit.
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Speaking after qualifying to Sky Sports, Vettel said he was happy with his Aston Martin as he looked to score points in Sunday’s race.
"I think it was coming alive. I felt really comfortable at the end of Q1 and then Q2, so I would have to have another set in Q3 but all in all I think it was a good session for us and we could qualify the car in a decent spot," he explained.
He did concede that he was affected by the fact that Sunday would be his final race, with no indication that Hamilton would be right in his prediction that Vettel would come back to the sport in future.
"I’m still in the zone now, but it was a bit emotional before qualy, but I’m sure it will be a big day tomorrow,” he added.
He quickly returned to the task at hand as he looked to beat Italian team Alfa Romeo to sixth in the constructors’ championship, with the championship already decided in Red Bull’s favour weeks ago..
"We have a task on our hands as well, we try to beat the Alfas and score as many points as possible to maybe get sixth in the constructors’ championship," Vettel said.
Vettel's exit from Aston Martin kicked off a merry go round in Formula One as the teams look to get settled ahead of the 2023 campaign.
Vettel has been replaced by Fernando Alonso of Alpine, who announced Oscar Piastri would step in. However Piastri decided instead to move to McLaren as Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement, and Pierre Gasly instead joined the French team from Alpha Tauri.
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