Sebastian Vettel has described his six years at Ferrari as “a rollercoaster ride” as he heads into his final race with the team in Abu Dhabi.
The four-time champion said he felt an “emotional attachment” to Ferrari, but admitted he and the team had “failed” because they did not win the title.
Vettel said: “Looking back, there were a lot of things we should have and could have done better.
“The main thing is to make sure I learn from it, and I have grown from it.”
The 33-year-old is joining Aston Martin next year - the new name for the team currently known as Racing Point - after Ferrari told him before this season even started that they would not be renewing his contract.
Vettel said both he and the team had made mistakes over their time together, and pinpointed the 2018 season as being “decisive for many things”.
Ferrari had a competitive car two years ago and Vettel led the championship for much of the first part of the season, only for a crash when he was leading the German Grand Prix to halt their momentum. It was the first of a series of driver errors as Ferrari’s season fell apart, and Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton grew stronger over the second part of the year.
There were also off-track disruptions, including the death of Ferrari’s influential president Sergio Marchionne in the summer.
“In the ’18 season, we had the passing of Mr Marchionne, the change in (team) leadership from Maurizio (Arrivabene) to Mattia (Binotto). Maybe the ’18 year was decisive for many things. But I don’t know if you can break it down into only one thing.“
Vettel also highlighted Ferrari’s decision to split with technical director James Allison in 2016, saying: “In 2016, we parted ways with James because of personal conflicts at the time.”
Unfair? Vettel also weighed in on the row over the handling of the ‘young driver’ test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Renault have been given permission for two-time champion Fernando Alonso to drive, but governing body the FIA has not allowed Vettel’s replacement Carlos Sainz to try out a Ferrari, or Vettel to drive a Racing Point.
“If you allow Fernando then basically you have to allow everyone,” Vettel said.