Vettel thanks Red Bull for “incredible journey”

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ABU DHABI – Sebastian Vettel’s 15-year association with Red Bull came to an end in Abu Dhabi today ahead of the German’s move to Ferrari for the 2015 season.

On Thursday, Vettel confirmed that he would be joining the Italian marque next year, replacing the McLaren-bound Fernando Alonso.

In his final race for Red Bull, Vettel was forced to start from the pit lane in Abu Dhabi after the team fitted an illegal front wing to both of its cars in qualifying on Saturday.

However, the German driver rallied back to finish to race in eighth place and end his Red Bull career in the points.

“I felt there was more, but once I got stuck behind Kevin at the beginning it was quite tough, so I can’t be completely happy with today,” Vettel said. “When you race you want to finish as high up as you can and today I think we had the pace to finish higher.”

Vettel reflected on his time with Red Bull, thanking the team for its efforts that have helped him to four world titles and establish himself as one of Formula 1’s all-time greats.

“I think the last six years have been an incredible journey,” he said. “Obviously we didn’t expect that when we started working together you can never expect four driver titles and four constructors’ championships in a row.

“You get to know some people in a very good way and build friendships that will last a long time. You go through happy days and sad days, you go through them together and I think I learned a lot.

“I’d like to thank Red Bull and the team for everything they did and I will miss them. I feel ready for the next step.”

Vettel will get his first taste of a Ferrari F1 car at pre-season testing in Spain next February after having an early run blocked by Red Bull.