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When it was announced in October 2014 that Sebastian Vettel was moving to Ferrari from Red Bull in which he won 4 consecutive titles, it was great news that left no one unreacted, it brought back memories of Michael Schumacher to many Ferraris, and Vettel himself did not he hid how much of a role model Michael Schumacher was for him and how much he wanted to once sit in the car of "Propeti konjic" and win titles just like Michael. At first, that love was mutual and happy, but unfortunately that love started to shoot after the German GP 2018 and currently the situation is that both sides can hardly wait for the end of cooperation. During almost 6 years of cooperation, Ferrari and Vettel were close to the title several times, in 2017 and 2018, to be exact, but Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, with a couple of shots in the leg by Vettel and Ferrari, proved to be too strong opponents and the final goal. , the title of champion, however, was not achieved. Regardless of the current situation and the failure to achieve our goals, Ferrari and Vettel have brought us a lot of beautiful moments and dear victories, so I will single out some of the most beautiful Vettel moments in Ferrari.
The first victory is always remembered, especially if it was achieved behind the wheel of a red car. This win took a big weight off the backs of Vettel and Ferrari, as they have both been waiting for their re-victory since 2013. The weekend began with the dominance of Mercedes in the qualifiers, in which Lewis Hamilton achieved pole position in rainy conditions, while 2nd and 3rd place were achieved by Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, all three within 5 tenths, while 4th Daniel Ricciardo was even 1,2 lag. , XNUMX seconds behind third-placed Rosberg.
During that weekend, criticism began for the F1 leadership that the dominance was greater than last season, and criticism of the F1 leadership intensified when it was confirmed that the German Grand Prix would not be held at Hockenheim that season due to lack of money. The start of the race started more or less standard, Hamilton kept the first position after the start, while Vettel kept Rosberg behind, but the Safety Car caused by the crash of Marcus Ericsson in the 4th lap shuffled the cards and many went to the pits for new tires, among them and a duo from Mercedes, while a few, including Vettel, remained on the track, which would later prove to be a winning combination.
After the return of Safety Car to boxing in the 7th lap, Vettel took the lead as the duo from Mercedes began their breakthrough through the standings and by the 10th and 14th laps Hamilton and Rosberg came in 2nd and 3rd position, while Vettel was held a 10-second lead over Hamilton. After entering boxing in the 18th lap, Vettel returns to 3rd place, but after 6 laps he is back in the lead, which he held until the very end of the race, except when in the 38th lap he left the lead to Hamilton for only 1 lap due to entry in a new set of tires. Vettel experienced the victory very emotionally, which he showed on team radio after the race and on the podium when he failed to hold back tears. In a way, he dedicated the victory to his role model Michael Schumacher, and that this victory is a dream come true for him.
Ferrari has made a lot of progress since his arrival, and the beginning of 2018 only confirmed that fact. The victory in the first race of the season in Australia brought optimism to the team and she came to Bahrain to take the full spoils. But there was something about Hamilton and Mercedes, the defending champions, and Red Bull was lurking as well. The qualifiers went somewhat unexpectedly as Ferrari secured 1-2 at the start, with Vettel scoring a pole position and being followed by his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Although Mercedes locked the second starting row, Hamilton had to start from 9th place due to a gear change, and due to a collision in Q1 Verstappen could not do Q2 which is why he started from 15th place. The start of the race was marked by a disaster for Red Bull as Riccardo gave up already in the 1st lap due to electronics, and Verstappen 2 laps later after his tire burst in contact with Hamilton for the 10th position and he soon lost gear on the gearbox, which is in the end and was the cause of the withdrawal. Vettel managed to keep the lead of the race and Bottas overtook Raikkonen at the start. Hamilton, meanwhile, broke through to 6th place, overtaking Hulkenberg, Alonso and Ocon in one turn, and soon came to 4th place. In the 35th lap, Raikkonen also gave up after he was mistakenly released from the pits, running over the leg of Francesco Cigarini, the man who changed the left rear tire.
Due to this incident, Vettel was no longer able to box and had to finish the race on the set of the soft, and he was soon overtaken by Bottas, whom he managed to keep behind, despite his worn-out tires, which proved to be one of the best drivers in terms of tires. management. Lewis Hamilton joined them on the podium after a great breakthrough through the standings, but they had the most reason to rejoice in Torro Rosso, whose Pierre Gasly finished the race in 4th place with Honda's "infamous" engine.
With more than 50 victories, only Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Lewis Hamilton could boast until that race. Sebastian Vettel joined this exclusive club with a dominant victory, perhaps the most dominant behind the Ferrari steering wheel. In qualifying, he achieved pole position ahead of Bottas in Mercedes, Verstappen in Red Bull and Hamilton in Mercedes. The start went great for Vettel as he kept the lead, and a strong duel was between Bottas and Verstappen in which Bottas emerged as the winner, and in the first round there was a clash between Brandon Hartley and Lance Stroll after which they both gave up.
From the start to the end of the race he held the lead of the race, even after going to the pits in the 37th lap, constantly holding the lead over Bottas, ahead of whom he won with a 6,5 second lead, while immediately behind him was Verstappen with 7,7 seconds behind Vettel. But the main news was not Vettel's dominant victory, but model Winnie Harlow who mistakenly waved the flag for the end of the race a lap before. With this victory, Vettel took the lead in the championship.
Lewis Hamilton has been unbeaten at home at Silverstone since 2014, and it seemed that he would remain so in 2018 after great qualifiers in which he failed to snatch pole position from the hands of Sebastian Vettel, despite Ferrari's great form. But there was a different story in the race. Vettel comes out on top in the start, and for Hamilton it wasn't the end of the trouble as Kimi Raikkonen jumped over and crashed into his rear right wheel, throwing him into last place, giving Kimi a 10-second stop-go penalty for it. .
Vettel dominated the race and held the lead ahead of Bottas, Verstappen, Raikkonen and Ricciard. After the first tire change, Vettel still held the lead while Hamilton meanwhile made his way through the standings. Vettel was in the lead until the Safety Car came out due to a collision between Marcus Ericsson and Ferrari called him for a new set of tires and left the lead to Bottas. Hamilton also stayed on the track and also made it to 3rd place. The race soon resumed, but the collision of Grosjean and Sainz in Copse caused the second exit of the Safety Car and lasted until 11 laps before the end when the race resumed. Vettel pressed Bottas and finally managed to pass him from outside Brooklands and lead to victory. Bottas lost two more positions to Hamilton and Raikkonen by the end of the race, and Verstappen had to give up because of the gearbox.
After this race, it seemed that Ferrari could finally knock down Hamilton and Mercedes because Vettel was in great shape, and Ferrari's SF71H seemed overall better than the Mercedes W09, but unfortunately Ferrari suffered two major blows in the form of the death of Sergio Marchionne and to this day Vettel’s painful outing to the German GP. This was followed by wrong upgrades and Vettel's pirouettes, and in the end the titles went to Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
After 2018 and the close loss of the title, expectations were high and it seemed that the titles were finally returning to Maranello, and bringing in young Charles Leclerc and promoting Mattie Binott as the new head coach instead of Maurizio Arrivabene further emphasized the seriousness of Ferrari. Unfortunately, Mercedes distanced itself from Ferrari in terms of performance, and Ferrari's car was mostly competitive only on fast tracks such as Bahrain, Austria or Monza, and the pitwall led by Matti Binott and Inaki Rued often made "brilliant" decisions.
Unfortunately for Vettel, that wasn’t the only problem. He started to make more and more mistakes in driving, and his new teammate Charles Leclerc established himself as faster and in better shape than Vettel, which he confirmed with two victories at the Belgian Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix. Leclerc showed great form again with the third pole position in a row and the fifth overall that season so far. Vettel finished qualifying in 3rd place, and between Leclerc and Vettel was Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes. The start was relatively calm for the top six, while in the middle of the standings there was chaos created by Sainz and Hulkenberg, which forced them both to box. The race at the top was of a tactical nature in which the leader Leclerc kept a slow pace and everyone followed him in order to save the tires. The 19th round of the race brings the first boxing entries, and Vettel and Verstappen were the first to go boxing for a set of hard. The move proved crucial to the further development of the race as Vettel did a great exit lap and finished ahead of Leclerc after Leclerc went into boxing.
Soon almost everyone went to boxing except Giovinazzi who for a while until lap 31 was the race’s leading man when he was betrayed by the tires and Vettel crosses him to lead the race. Giovinazzi is soon overtaken by the others from the top of the race and after contact with Ricciardo he goes to boxing in the 35th lap. In the 36th lap after the collision of Grosjean and Russell, the Safety Car came out for the first time and Hulkenberg used it for the 2nd entry into boxing. The race soon resumed, but again in the 42nd lap Safety Car came out due to the resignation of Sergio Perez after a breakdown and remained on the track until the 48th lap. Again the peace on the track did not last and the Safety Car came out again in the 50th lap, this time due to the contact of Kvyat and Raikkonen in which the thicker end is drawn by Raikkonen who gives up the race. Safety Car leaves the track in the 52nd lap and by the end of the race Vettel manages to keep the lead and win for the first time since Belgium in 2018, and the podium showed how much this victory meant to him when he held back tears. Second was Charles Leclerc, and they were joined on the podium by Max Verstappen who managed to keep Hamilton behind.
True, this collaboration did not bring complete success for both sides, and it often tore the nerves of Ferrari fans with the moves of individuals in Ferrari and Vettel himself. But let’s not forget all the beautiful moments, each Thanks guys, and in the eyes of many followers the transformation of Vettel from a somewhat irritating young man to a gentleman who is simply too hard to hate. And 14 wins in 5 seasons and being a two-time runner-up behind Hamilton in the championship is not exactly a failure, but I have the impression that more could have been done. If there was just a little more mutual understanding and communication between Vettel and Ferrari, things would be different. Yes, the relationship between Ferrari and Vettel has not been fabulous lately, but they still managed to part amicably. Vettel sang a farewell song after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, handed out a beer to Ferrari mechanics after the race, and a helmet with an emotional message to Leclerc. From my perspective, at first I wasn’t, but in the end I became a big fan of his because of the great rides, the already mentioned behavior of the gentleman and the passion for driving a Ferrari. After 2 years filled with joy, sadness, enthusiasm, disappointments and successes, the only thing I can do as a Ferrarist is to thank Vettel and wish him a lot of luck and success at Aston Martin.
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