‘I Leave Richer Than I Was Before’ – Sebastian Vettel Explains Biggest Takeaway from Ferrari Failure

Published 01/20/2021, 6:26 AM EST
MONZA, ITALY: Second place qualifier Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari looks on from parc ferme during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


One of the biggest stories before the season’s resumption in July last year was Ferrari’s decision to let go of Sebastian Vettel. Just a couple of years ago, the famed team and its esteemed driver were closely knit as a singular unit.

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But things turned sour between the two because of their failure to grab hold of the world title in 2018. The partisan Italian press lay most of the blame on German’s shoulder for his personal errors. This is not what he had imagined when he joined them to follow in the footsteps of his hero, Michael Schumacher.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 6: Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Though he is not necessarily leaving with bitter feelings despite failing to emulate his idol. He believes that he still learned a lot in his 6-year spell with the Maranello-based outfit.

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“The title was the big thing, so for sure there’s something missing, but I’m quite sure I won’t be frustrated by it for the rest of my life. I think everything happens for a reason–the good things happen for a reason and the bad things happen for a reason – and the last six years, speaking of track performances and so on, I’ve learned a lot.”

On the bright side, the former Red Bull driver’s bank account swelled if not so his trophy cabinet. He pocketed a cool $36.3 million a year. But, according to him, he gained something far more valuable.

“I think it will help me for the rest of my path in Formula 1 and outside Formula 1, about myself, about people… I’m definitely of the conviction that I leave richer than I was before, and I don’t mean this financially or with more wins, but I think richer in experiences and things that will help me along the way.”

Sebastian Vettel accepted Ferrari exit

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When Mattia Binotto called to give him the bad news in May, he took it on the chin. Rather than pleading his case for retention, he handled it with grace.

“It’s fine for me and I completely accept it, and when Mattia told me on the phone, it was clear. It wasn’t like I was trying to fight back or convince him otherwise – not at all,” said Vettel.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel celebrates on the podium after finishing in third place in the race Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu

Say whatever you might want to say about his driving skills or his incapability to drive at a high level any longer. But what you can’t take away from him is the fact that he is one of the most dignified drivers on the grid. He is a true gent, and drivers of the future should be taking notes of his astute professionalism.

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Bharat Aggarwal

684 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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