"He is, exactly!" Mike Krack answered when asked if Vettel is still doing the engineering briefing after the race in Abu Dhabi. F1’s youngest world champion was delayed by the massive attention for his final event in Formula 1, but that didn’t stop him from doing his professional duties.
“No, he came a bit late obviously because he has all the media duties, but he went really through his stints now, describing precisely what the car did and then there was a couple of words to thank and a glass of, what is he drinking, Jägermeister or something like that?”
The Aston Martin team boss didn’t like the smell of Vettel’s drink of choice, but he praised his driver for staying professional to the very end, a testament of his character.
“He went really through it, many drivers would just not have done it.”
Vettel’s post-race determination to help the team is yet another example of how he conducted himself during the past race-weekends, with his retirement imminent. And with the attention for the final farewell growing which each race closer to Abu Dhabi, it is no small feat the German stayed on top of his work: driving the AMR22 as fast as possible.
“Yeah, I don’t know how he has done that. I mean if you look how much distraction there was from the first moment and already in Brazil and then the race before it was already farewell, farewell, farewell, and it just increased, increased all the time. But each time he was in the car he was fully on it, I would say even more than 100%.”
Facing slow drivers multiple times during qualifying, it is no surprise Krack hailed his Saturday effort, where he had to find his way around traffic in a successful attempt to reach Q3.
“In qualifying it was the best example, I don’t know if you have seen in Q2 how he was navigating in his quickest lap around the other cars, that was really, really impressive.”
All in all, Krack was pleasantly surprised by Vettel’s focus during his final F1 weekend, stating the German’s efforts were both exemplary and unexpected.
“The way he was on it or how he managed to separate the high class driving from the distraction of the farewell was really exemplary, I mean, I would not have expected that to be honest.”