Multi-champions are not usually charismatic in motorsport. It is as if the talent of surgical driving forces humans to remove charisma. Lewis is accused of arrogance, Verstappen’s selfishness, Schumacher’s indolence. When one looks back and reviews these names, he does not find notable moments outside the cockpit and, on the contrary, he remembers episodes in which they wanted to be charismatic, but it was uncomfortable to see them in disguise. Last Sunday we witnessed the goodbye of, perhaps, the last beloved multi-champion that this generation remembers: Sebastian Vettel.
In a grid polarized in affections and where supporting a monarch goes through hating the rival, Sebastian achieved something unusual: being loved by everyone. The fans, the pilots, the teams, the authorities, all have not repaired in showing their affection for Vettel. A goodbye that is born from the beautiful egoism of wanting to spend more time with his family from the tranquility of knowing that he has won everything. “I am very clear that, being a father, I want to spend more time with my family. In addition to racing, I have raised a family and I love being around them. My passion for racing requires a lot of energy and spending time away from loved ones. I am no longer willing to make that sacrifice ”, Vettel has justified about the reason for his goodbye.
Despite being two years younger than Lewis Hamilton, he has said goodbye. With him goes one of the record holders in the category. The man who achieved 53 victories, and is the driver with the third most wins in F1 only behind Hamilton (103) and Schumacher (91), has left before a grid that has not kept praise. No one disputes his influence on modern division history and his place with his four world titles. A brand that is only surpassed by Schumacher, Hamilton and the great Juan Manuel Fangio.
The great image of the farewell? The complicity between Alonso and Vettel at the Abu Dhabi start. That moment when the Spaniard approached Sebastian and, showing him the helmet that honored his goodbye with the inscription #DankeSeb, he said: “Don’t worry about me on the first lap, enjoy.” That escort in the first rounds of a two-time champion to the tetramonarch is perhaps one of the best samples that the category remembers. A sample, in these days that being the protagonist seems to be an excuse for boorishness, is worth double. Thanks for everything Sebastian.