Sebastian Vettel announces retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the season

German driver Sebastian Vettel announced this Thursday that he will withdraw from Formula 1 at the end of the current season.

The 35-year-old, four-time Formula 1 champion at the service of Red Bull, with titles in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, says goodbye to the sport after two seasons at Aston Martin.

“The decision to retire was difficult for me and I spent a lot of time thinking about it. At the end of the year I want to have more time to reflect on what I’m going to focus on next. It is very clear to me that as a father I want to spend more time with my family. But today, it’s not about saying goodbye. Instead, it is to thank – everyone – especially the fans, who without their passionate support Formula 1 could not exist.”

The runner-up in the world in 2009, 2017 and 2018 made his Formula 1 debut in 2007 and is now in his 16th season in the category.

His career in Formula 1 started at BMW Sauber, followed by Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Ferrari and, more recently, Aston Martin, and it is now certain that the team will have at least one change for 2023, although also It is not yet official that Canadian Lance Stroll renews his contract.

“I have had the privilege of working with many fantastic people in Formula 1 over the last 15 years. There are many to mention and be thankful for. For the last two years I have been a driver for Aston Martin – and although our results have not been as good as we had hoped, it is very clear to me that everything is being done so that the team can race at the highest level for years to come. I hope that the work that I did last year and that I continue to do this year will be useful in developing a team that will win in the future. I will work as hard as I can until the end of the year towards that goal, giving as always my best in the last ten races”, he added.

Vettel is the youngest world champion in Formula 1 history: he was 23 years and 134 days old when he won the title in 2010. On his resume, he has 289 matches, 57 pole positions53 race wins and 38 fastest laps.

Vettel’s departure comes on a day when the German created his official account on the social network Instagram, through which he left a heartfelt message of farewell to Formula 1, with some teams even welcoming the four-time champion to the platform.

“Who am I?”: Vettel’s emotional message

“I am here to announce my retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season. I should probably start with a long list of people to thank, but I feel it is more important to explain the reasons for my decision. I love this sport, it has been central to my life for as long as I can remember, but just as there is my life on the track, there is also life outside of it. Being a pilot was never my only identity. I believe in identity for what we are and how we treat others, rather than what we do. Who am I? I’m Sebastian, the father of three and the husband of a fantastic wife. I’m obsessed with perfection, I’m tolerant and I feel that we all have the same rights to live, no matter what we look like, where we come from and who we love. I love nature and its wonders. I like making people smile, chocolate and the smell of fresh bread. My favorite color is blue, I believe in change and progress and that every little thing makes a difference. In addition to racing, I’ve built a family and I love being with her. Other interests have grown beyond Formula 1. My passion for racing and for Formula 1 requires a lot of time away from my family and takes a lot of energy.”

“My goals have changed, from winning races and championships to watching my kids grow up, passing on my values, helping them get up when they fall, listening to them when they need me, not having to say goodbye and most importantly, to be able to learn from them and let them inspire me. There’s a lot to explore about life and myself. About the future, I feel that we live in decisive times and the coming years will determine our lives. Talking is not enough, we cannot wait. There is no alternative. The race is on. My best run? It’s still to come. I will find new challenges. Until next time and thanks for letting me share the clue with you. I loved every bit of it”, he declared.