"Emotional" Vettel felt tension as Ferrari mechanics "waved goodbye"
Sebastian Vettel conceded he could sense a "different dynamic" on the grid as his Ferrari mechanics "waved goodbye" in his final race for the Scuderia.
Vettel, who makes way for Carlos Sainz for next season, finished 14th in Abu Dhabi to bring to an end a six-season association with the Italian team as he looks ahead to joining Aston Martin for 2021.
The German was unable to emulate his hero Michael Schumacher at the team, with this year being especially difficult for Ferrari as a whole, with Vettel revealing he was disappointed for his crew members.
"I think nothing about today should get mentioned," said Vettel, whose 33-point total is his lowest in a full campaign in his F1 career. "I think it was quite a bad and poor race from us.
"I enjoyed it, especially in the beginning. A lot of fights. Obviously, the safety car hurt us when we were most vulnerable with the hard tyres to stay out long.
"We tried everything and for sure, it was an emotional day with the mechanics waving goodbye on the grid. There was a different dynamic and tension there. I am sad for the guys, I will miss them but also happy to embark on a new journey."
Team-mate Charles Leclerc finished 13th to conclude a season in which Ferrari finished sixth in the constructors' standings, its worst performance since 1980.
After wearing a helmet styled on Vettel's own design as a way of marking respect for his outgoing team-mate, Leclerc paid tribute to the four-time champion.
"It has been great to have Seb on the other side of the garage for two years," he explained. "He is an amazing person, an amazing driver too. He pushed me to perform better and to improve.
"For Carlos, I am very happy for him to join the team. It is a great opportunity for him. He is very consistent in the races too, as he has shown all season, so it is going to be a good challenge for me."
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