Fernando Alonso has revealed a special helmet paying tribute to Sebastian Vettel ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The German will step away from the sport after a 15-year career in Formula 1 and as one of the most well-loved figures in the paddock, plenty of drivers have been bidding their farewells to Vettel.
Lewis Hamilton predicted Vettel would be back in the paddock one day while the German has been spotted swapping helmets with drivers such as George Russell.
Like Hamilton, Alpine’s Alonso has had plenty of experience going up alongside Vettel and was one of only two current drivers alongside Hamilton to take part in Vettel’s debut race back in 2007.
In honour of Vettel’s departure, Alonso has revealed a special helmet for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which will also be the Spaniard’s final race for his current team Alpine before a move to Aston Martin.
The helmet is predominantly white but features the German flag running down it, something that has been frequently seen on Vettel’s helmets of late.
In an Instagram post unveiling the helmet, Alonso said it will be “sad” to share the track one last time but wished the four-time Word Champion the best for the future.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 17, 2022
“Danke Seb, one last time sharing the track with you, It will be emotional and sad at the same time, but I wish you all the best for your next chapter,” Alonso’s post read.
Speaking during the pre-race press conference, Alonso described it as “strange” not seeing Vettel on the grid come the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.
“It’s gonna be strange to not have him in next year in the first race,” Alonso told the media including PlanetF1. “I mean, we shared so many things over the last 15 years, sometimes we fought for Championships sometimes for seventh places, even in Japan until the finish line,
“We still obviously always enjoy every single battle and respect each other as much as we could. So I think my career is going to be linked to Sebastian’s in a way because we fought for many great things and in the best seasons of our life probably.”
Alonso is the one taking Vettel’s seat at Aston Martin but revealed they have yet to speak about the team, something Alonso said they would do on Sunday night.
The pair make up two of the top three positions in the all time point-scorers list with Vettel on 3,097 while Alonso is on 2,061. Only Hamilton has more with 4,405.5.