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Japan GP: Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel invigorating but ‘a bit sad’ after final Suzuka qualifier


“I love this place; I love this track and it just makes you feel more alive,” said the four-time world champion after the final qualifying match of his career at the Japanese Grand Prix; The 35-year-old will leave the sport at the end of the season and start in P9 on Sunday

Last updated: 08/10/22 11:23 am


Sebastian Vettel is delighted with his qualifying performance and is back on the Suzuka track

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Sebastian Vettel is delighted with his qualifying performance and is back on the Suzuka track

Sebastian Vettel is delighted with his qualifying performance and is back on the Suzuka track

Sebastian Vettel said the Suzuka track “makes you feel more alive” after loving every moment of the final qualifying round of his career in Japan.

At the end of July, the 35-year-old announced that he would be retiring from Formula 1 after the end of the 2022 season and he made no secret that the Suzuka circuit was his favorite track on the calendar.

During his career, Vettel, a four-time world champion, has won five pole positions and four victories on a 3.6-mile track in Japan. On Saturday, he advances into Q3 for the first time since Baku and will start Sunday’s race at P9 on the grid.

“Yes, boys! Yes, I’m happy with this,” Vettel said happily on the team radio after his flyby. He then continued to show his positivity when speaking to the Sky Sports F1 team after the end of the qualifying session.

“If you don’t look on the scoreboard to see where we ended up, it feels very similar [as a pole position] about how happy I am with the rings I have.

“I love this place; I love the track and it just makes you feel more alive. When you’re fighting the car and taking the first track with yourself, it’s just a big smile every time. “

In his victory at P9, Vettel maintained his record of starting every Japanese Grand Prix of his career in the top 10; Twelve of them occurred in Suzuka and two in Fuji.

Vettel’s teammate Lance Stroll made an early start in qualifying and will be bottom of the grid in 19th place alongside Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.

Although Vettel has endured such an intense qualifying round, he is not quite ready to turn his back on his decision to hang up his shirt and leave Formula 1 after Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

“Races like this make me a little… not regretful because I am looking forward to what is to come, but a bit sad because it is the last,” said Vettel openly.

“Saturday here is different from Sunday because on Sunday you have more fuel in the car, it’s more about management and discipline is different in a way. Saturday, that’s really when you’re flying.

“We’ve come a long way from the P1 but the feel on the car is something special when the fuel is light and the tires are fresh.”

Karun Chandhok analyzed how Max Verstappen brought Ferrari to the top of the Japanese Grand Prix

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Karun Chandhok analyzed how Max Verstappen brought Ferrari to the top of the Japanese Grand Prix

Karun Chandhok analyzed how Max Verstappen brought Ferrari to the top of the Japanese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen will be the driver to start at the front of the net in pole position, despite a post-qualification investigation.

Verstappen was summoned by the managers for accidentally turning on Lando Norris during the first outing of the third quarter and nearly causing a major crash, but was only reprimanded.

Going further, Vettel will look to use his knowledge and love of the Suzuka circuit to deliver to Aston Martin. Rain is forecast but its timing is not entirely clear at the end of qualifying. However, highly experienced drivers do not worry about that.

“It’s been great here in the race because you have a lot of laps and find the best balance between tire rotation and attack, and then do it in multiple laps,” added Vettel.

“Obviously, the constructors’ championship is very tight and we want to score some points. In theory, this is probably not the best track for us, but we had a good day. today, so why not do it again tomorrow?”

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