While Leclerc’s arrival at Ferrari shifted the team dynamic straight from the get-go and the duo had more of their fair share of on-track battles since 2019, there has always been an underlying respect between them.
Leclerc showed his gratitude to his departing team-mate by wearing a special ‘Danke, Seb’ helmet throughout the duration of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend and he swapped it with Vettel after the race.
Vettel, though, handed his over with a personalised message for Leclerc and had some seriously high praise for him.
“To Charles, you are the most talented driver I came across in 15 years of F1,” Vettel wrote.
“Don’t waste it. But be sure whatever you do to be happy and smile. Thanks for everything!”
Vettel was asked by many reporters and media outlets to reflect on his time with Ferrari and he had some more kind words for Leclerc.
“I’ve learned so much from this team, they have given me so much,” Vettel said.
“I’m very grateful for that, it’s beyond titles and victories, for sure that’s what we were after, in the end we didn’t get it.
“It doesn’t change anything, I wish this team well, I wish the guys well. Charles is a young, fresh hope of this team and I hope he gets the car he deserves in the next years.
“There’s many reasons why you can argue why we did not succeed and finish the mission we set out to achieve but what you keep ultimately is the memories and the passion I shared with so many people along the way.
“I have no regrets looking back. Certainly there have been mistakes, there have been highs and lows.
“I’m not normally the most emotional guy, today is a different day, a day I will remember not for finishing 14th but for what it means in the big picture.
“It is a day I will treasure. It is a goodbye to many friends and in a way I fell in love with, in the last years, so those I will miss.”
“I’m sure I won’t lose those completely, we have a saying in German, you always see each other twice in life, I think time will tell.”