Charles Leclerc has paid tribute to outgoing Ferrari Formula 1 teammate Sebastian Vettel with a special helmet livery for this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Vettel heads into his final race weekend with Ferrari at the Yas Marina Circuit following a six-year spell at the Scuderia in which he has claimed 14 victories and finished runner-up in the championship twice.

Leclerc, who has been teammates with Vettel since he earned promotion to Ferrari in 2019, has unveiled a tribute to the four-time world champion with a new helmet scheme for the 17th and final round of the season.

The helmet design is predominantly white as a nod to Vettel’s traditional livery, with a red stripe depicting the Monaco flag on the top next to a ‘Danke Seb’ message.

Leclerc’s number 16 features pictures of the two drivers during their time together at Ferrari.

Valtteri Bottas and George Russell are also running one-off helmet designs for the Abu Dhabi GP, while Romain Grosjean also revealed that his children had designed a special helmet originally intended for him to use this weekend. 

Having been informed before the start of the season that Ferrari would not be renewing his contract for 2021, Vettel will make the switch to the newly-rebranded Aston Martin squad to partner Lance Stroll.

Speaking ahead of the weekend during the pre-race press conferences on Thursday, Vettel said he is leaving a “very different” Ferrari to the one he joined back in 2015.

“We started off with different people in the lead, the personnel,” the German explained. “The atmosphere in the garage is still the same, the spirit remains unbroken.

“It’s a shame we didn’t achieve what we set out to achieve but there’s reasons for the strengths and probably reasons for the weaknesses in the past years. I would say it’s still quite a bit different.

“In some things the team has evolved in other things maybe there’s still room. Time will tell obviously, Charles has a long time ahead of him with the team, a lot of work.

“We’ll see how it evolves but for me the chapter ends here and I’m starting a new one with a different team, which I’m very excited about.”

Leclerc rounded out Friday practice in Abu Dhabi eighth in the timesheets, while Vettel was 14th.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...