Sebastian, will you miss the fans in Monza?
In a way it’s better this way, but don’t get me wrong. It will be sad not to have fans in Monza, it’s the first time. In recent years, around the world I have always been overwhelmed by the affection of the Ferrari fans, in Italy in a special way. I think it would be very difficult to race seeing all the people supporting you knowing that it is the last time in red. In this regard, perhaps it will be a little better this way.
What is your best Ferrari memory and what do you think you have given the team?
I usually reply that the best is yet to come but this is a difficult season, so I don’t think that’s true in this case. The best memory so far is the first win in Malaysia. There have been many more since then, but the first is special. I remember the team under the podium singing the Italian anthem and the big party after that. If I look back I have no regrets, we had a wonderful time together and there were many memorable moments. I’m not nostalgic, I generally look forward. I would have liked to win more with Ferrari, it didn’t happen, but on both sides we are ready to move forward. Ferrari will be aiming for bigger results in the future and so will I. The time has come to separate our paths at the end of the season and until then we will try to give our best together. I will miss the people I have worked with and I think they will miss me. What do I leave to the team? They should answer that.
How do you rate Leclerc?
Charles is a good guy, he’s doing a great job on the car, he’s very talented. Everything that is written about him is correct and deserves the credit he has. The future will tell us what he will be able to do. I think he is one of the most talented drivers on the grid and one of the fastest. Plus he is also young so he has a lot of time ahead.
What went wrong with your time at Ferrari?
We never had the right package to fight for the title until the end of the season. This happened for a variety of reasons, not just one. Do I have advice for the team? I would say yes, I think I have expressed myself in the past years even though we probably didn’t have the same point of view on some things. My role is clear, I drive the car and I try to push development, I tried to push the team in what I hoped was the right direction. We had a good time together, we had some great races and others that were not so good. I am obviously a huge fan of the Scuderia, it has always been a dream of mine to become a Ferrari driver and it has been a privilege to have made it but I am looking to the future, whatever that entails, I focus on my new chapter.
What plans do you have?
If I decide to continue in F1, I do it with the aim of winning, I have no intention of staying in the paddock simply to participate, I don’t care about the race record in my CV, but now I have no news. Nothing concrete I can say about my future at the moment. Everyone would like to drive for Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, but there are many other teams that have the ambition to win. I will only be here in a competitive team. The new 2022 rules are a big unknown and there are many teams hoping that the balance will change. We’ll see. I will let you know when I have news.
Would you continue with Ferrari in the WEC or in Indycar?
I certainly try to imagine my future outside of F1, but at the moment I like to drive in F1. Of course there are many categories in motorsport, but I can’t be specific because for now I haven’t really thought about alternatives. I haven’t heard of Ferrari in the WEC or in Indycar, I can ask Mattia Binotto. We talk to each other and I can ask him but at the moment I’m only focused on F1, I don’t consider alternatives.
What will F1 be like in 10 years?
From my point of view, F1 has a gigantic mountain to climb if it wants to continue to exist and attract fans and communicate passion. The world is changing very fast and I think F1 has a duty to adapt more than quickly. I know the rules will change in 2022 but I doubt that is enough. In a more general context, F1 has to do much more than what it is doing. We all hope for change, in the fact that the teams are united and that the competition on track is more lively, but the world has bigger issues to face and F1 cannot remain silent and close its eyes. it will be interesting to see where the world will be in 10 years and where F1 will be.