Leclerc explains Vettel Abu Dhabi GP helmet tribute gesture

Charles Leclerc says he is running a special Abu Dhabi Grand Prix helmet livery dedicated to departing Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel to show respect for "a great guy"

Leclerc explains Vettel Abu Dhabi GP helmet tribute gesture

Leclerc has adopted a largely white helmet colour scheme for the final race of the 2020 season, which mirrors the design Vettel has used throughout his six years at Ferrari - albeit with Monaco flag colours running over the top in place of the Germany equivalent his team-mate uses.

The words 'Danke, Seb' are written on top of Leclerc's helmet, which also features images of the two drivers, who have been team-mates since the start of 2019 when Leclerc joined Ferrari from Sauber, during their time as colleagues at the Maranello marque.

Speaking after qualifying at the Yas Marina track, Leclerc explained to Autosport why he had made the gesture.

"Seb has given so much to the team, which will benefit me indirectly because I've got a long contract with the team," said Leclerc.

"And most of all, as soon as I arrived in the team, he welcomed me in the best way possible.

"Sure, there was some competition, but as a human being he is a great guy. So, I just wanted to show him my respect that way and I know he liked it."

Vettel will start his final race for Ferrari - where he has scored 14 wins and 11 poles in what is expected to be a final race start total for the Scuderia of 118 - in P13.

"Obviously it is not nice to start my final race with the team from 13th on the grid," he said after qualifying at the Yas Marina track.

"The result itself is quite bad, even if I was happy with my own performance on the lap.

"Maybe putting together the perfect lap would have got me as high as 10th, but no better than that.

"My plan for the race is simply to try and do my best. I guess we won't have an easy race.

"I think it will be special since it is the last one.

"I want to enjoy this race and feel very close to the people in the garage, the mechanics, the engineers, everyone. It will be very emotional."

shares
comments
McLaren sells £185m stake in F1 team to US consortium MSP Sport Capital

Previous article

McLaren sells £185m stake in F1 team to US consortium MSP Sport Capital

Next article

Albon plans to "disturb" Mercedes in F1 Abu Dhabi GP

Albon plans to "disturb" Mercedes in F1 Abu Dhabi GP
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel , Charles Leclerc
Author Alex Kalinauckas
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021