"My best race is still to come" – Sebastian Vettel in quotes
The nicest guy on the grid, confirmed by everyone who knows him.
When you spend 15 years competing in Formula One, win four world championships, break multiple records and make a concerted effort to make the world a better place, invariably, there's going to be plenty said about you.
As the curtain falls on Sebastian Vettel's glittering F1 career, we pick out some of the best words that those closest to the AMF1 driver have had to say about him – and a few words from Sebastian himself.
Seb is the same friendly guy he always was – and he's certainly kept his good sense of humour! He has this combination of impressive work ethic and self-confidence, as well as natural speed and experience; it makes him a great asset to the team.
"Like other great drivers, he can drive while considering and planning what he's going to do next, and then get out of the car and continue to analyse and learn what happened so that next time he's got that tiny bit more knowledge.
"I see it with him all the time. Every time he gets in the car he gets in with a bit more knowledge than he had last time.
"He's very humble. The success and fame that he's achieved over the past four years would have gone to the heads of many people but it hasn't with Sebastian. His feet are totally on the ground. He's a very private person. He's also a very bright lad."
After Sebastian won the 2013 Indian Grand Prix, clinching his fourth-consecutive Formula One world championship, the architect of all four of Sebastian's title-winning cars explains what makes Seb so great on the track and off it.
He's achieved so much in this sport, he's been a great team-mate. This is a chapter in his life that he's moving on from and he has a family at home and other things to look forward to. It's been an incredible career for him.
"As young as he was then, he was extremely mature. He was clearly ahead of the others in terms of professionalism and focus.
"He prepared himself, did other sport and his fitness programme was also above all others. He wasn't interested in anything else, he put his heart and soul into it and that was absolutely impressive."
The former BMW boss, who gave Sebastian his first F1 drive, reveals what set the teenager apart from his contemporaries on the Starting Grid podcast in 2020.
He is a very passionate guy. He has a great impact on the team and is very proactive. He's such a nice, warm person, and really took a lot of interest in my career. That's shocking because he has a million things on his mind, but he still engaged with me.
"It seems no time at all since he was a BMW Friday test driver and then on the grid for Toro Rosso looking like a fresh-faced uni student enjoying life some 15 years ago.
"He has won four world championships and 53 races, third on the all-time F1 list, and he remains the youngest-ever world champion. He may only be 35 but he's burned the candle hard.
"Sebastian is a true champion and a thoroughly good human being, and it was a pleasure to commentate on his career."
The Sky Sports F1 commentator and former F1 driver on the news of Sebastian's retirement.
Thank you for everything you've contributed to the sport we both love, I can't wait for our last races together. Thank you, Seb – you're an inspiration.
"For me he was already the surprise of the season. But what he demonstrated, in these weather conditions, making no mistakes and dominating from the beginning, was completely clearly top-class."
In the aftermath of his maiden F1 victory at a rain-soaked Monza in 2008, Vettel's wet weather skills drew praise from compatriot, hero, friend and original 'regenmeister' [rainmaster], seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.
"I was once in Mauritius on holiday and Michael Schumacher came to me. He said: 'Gerhard, you have to look. There is this guy in go-karts, the name is Vettel.' I said, 'Who?' 'Vettel, he is very quick.' And that was many years ago.
"I think it's great to have a young spirit in the team again. When I watched him and followed him, I could see a great commitment. He's intelligent... the speed I hope is going to show that he's quick."
The former Toro Rosso team boss explains when Sebastian's talent was first brought to his attention.
It's been an honour to call you a competitor and an ever greater honour to call you my friend. Leaving this sport better than you found it is always the goal. I have no doubt that whatever comes next for you will be exciting and rewarding. Love you, man.
"It was night and day different. His way of working even led us to change some the processes in the factory."
The AMF1 Chief Technical Officer underlines the immediate impact Sebastian had on the team.
"There's something loose between my legs, apart from the obvious. So, something flying around my feet. I'd be proud if it was what you think it is, but it's not."
Sebastian humorously takes to team radio in FP2 at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix to report that all is not quite right in the car, with something rattling around the cockpit.
My best race is still to come. I believe in moving forwards and moving on. Time is a one-way street and I want to grow with the times. Looking back is only going to slow you down. I look forward to racing down unknown tracks and finding new challenges.
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