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'Great passion of Ferrari will stay with me forever' - Vettel

'Great passion of Ferrari will stay with me forever' - Vettel

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'Great passion of Ferrari will stay with me forever' - Vettel

'Great passion of Ferrari will stay with me forever' - Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has revealed he will never forget the "great passion" of Ferrari following his exit after six years with the team.

Despite 14 victories in 161 starts, Vettel's time with the Scuderia was ultimately an unsuccessful one as it failed to yield the fifth world title he had hoped for when he joined in 2015

This last season was particularly forgettable as the 33-year-old German finished a miserable 13th in the drivers' standings with his lowest points haul from a full season in his Formula 1 career.

Despite departing on a low, Vettel is adamant he will always carry with him only good memories of his time with the team.

"I think it is hard to pick one memory over all these years," said Vettel.

"But what I will keep, for sure, for the rest of my life is having the time, not only with professionals but with the people behind the set of red [clothes], with a great heart and a great passion that drives them.

"The commitment they have towards the team, the guys in the garage, the guys in the office, in Maranello.

"There are many reasons you can argue why we did not succeed and finish the mission we set out to achieve.

"But what you keep ultimately are the memories and the passion that I shared with so many people along the way. I have no regrets looking back. Certainly, there have been mistakes. There have been highs and lows."

The final low was his 14th-place finish in the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, yet for Vettel, it was also a high in some respects as he reflected on "the big picture".

Vettel described it as a day he "will treasure because it is a goodbye to many friends and people I have fell in love with in the last years. Those I will miss but I am sure I won't lose completely.

"We have a saying in Germany: 'You always see each other twice in life,' so I think time will tell."

Team-mate Charles Leclerc wore a special crash helmet in that race to thank Vettel for helping the Monégasque settle after his move from Sauber.

The four-time champion is hopeful the team can now provide Leclerc with the tools to challenge for the title in the future.

"I have learnt so much from this team, they have given me so much," he added. "I am grateful for that.

"It is beyond titles and victories. For sure, that is what we were after, we didn't get it but it doesn't change anything. I wish this team well, with the guys well in the garage.

"I think Charles is a young, fresh hope of this team and I hope he gets the car he deserves in the next years."

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