F1 | Abu Dhabi GP | Vettel felt "emotional before getting in the car", says he came "alive" during qualifying
The four-time World Champion delivered a masterclass in his qualifying swansong.
Sebastian Vettel showed his class in his 300th and final qualifying session in Formula One as he dragged his Aston Martin into Q3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The German looked to be in trouble initially as he was P16 ahead of the last runs in Q1. However, he produced a stunning lap at the end to move into P5, and he ended up P6 at the end of the session.
He then got through Q2 in P8. The four-time World Champion then outpaced Daniel Ricciardo in Q3 to start 9th on the grid tomorrow.
Vettel was happy to get into the final segment on his last appearance in F1.
"Yeah [I'm happy], I think it was a good session. I'm happy with how the session went.
"It was a bit emotional before getting in the car. Once I was in the car, it was all thoughts into qualifying and the laps.
"It was coming alive, I was coming alive. It felt good."
Traffic was an issue for the German throughout qualifying. He had to dodge a number of cars in the last sector during Q1.
In Q1 and Q2, Vettel found himself getting dirty air from Red Bull's preparing their laps as he was completing his attempts. It happened on more than one occasion.
"In the laps before Q3, it was always a Red Bull in the last corner. If you staged it you probably would not be able to!" Vettel joked.
Vettel admitted to having a lot of emotions and thoughts about people who could not be at Yas Marina this weekend for his farewell.
"Before qualifying I had some thoughts about the people who can't be here, because they are not with us anymore, or they didn't make it," he stated.
Seb takes to the stage on Saturday for one last time #AbuDhabiGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/J1lT2Zf0yf— Formula 1 (@F1) November 19, 2022
"Obviously there is a lot of people that are here which is very special. It's been a long time, and I have to admit it's a funny feeling.
The 35-year-old added he switched to driver mode as soon as he got into the car.
"But as soon as you are in the car and you drive out, you're quite busy, so I guess it's a good sign. I enjoy most when I am present and I was.
"I think it was a good session."
Heading into tomorrow's race, Aston Martin trail Alfa Romeo by five points. Vettel's strong qualifying gives them hope that they could steal the position away.
"We try to do that and see what happens," said Vettel.
"I feel we have the right tyres with us. I think it should be a good race."
One very proud father ❤️#AbuDhabiGP @AstonMartinF1 pic.twitter.com/ahLbJjlShw— Formula 1 (@F1) November 19, 2022