Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has announced he will retire at the end of this season. The 35-year-old German currently drives for the Aston Martin team and made his F1 debut in 2007. He became the sport’s youngest world champion when he won his first title, aged 23 years and 134 days and has amassed 53 wins so far. into a brilliant career.
“The decision to retire was a difficult one for me and I spent a lot of time thinking about it,” he said in a statement.
Vettel made an impact from the start, but success largely eluded him for the second half of his time in F1. He won his four titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013 and joined Ferrari in 2015. He challenged for the championship twice with the Scuderia in 2017 and 2018 but was beaten twice by Lewis Hamilton.
He stayed with Ferrari until the end of 2020 and joined Aston Martin in 2021 but has not won a race since the Singapore Grand Prix in 2019. However, during his time with Red Bull and Ferrari he won a large number of victories and his 53, places him behind only Hamilton on 103 and Michael Schumacher on 91.
In recent years, Vettel has been outspoken on environmental and social issues. He has strongly supported Hamilton’s calls to fight racism and promote diversity in sport and has been outspoken about the urgency of the climate emergency. He recently expressed his ambivalence about competing in F1, a sport which has a huge carbon footprint due to the amount of air travel involved. These are questions he will likely continue to pursue, but he hasn’t revealed his plans for the future.
“At the end of the year, I want to take a little more time to think about what I’m going to focus on next,” he said. “It’s very clear to me that as a father I want to spend more time with my family. But today is not about saying goodbye. It’s more about saying thank you – to everyone – and especially the fans, without whose passionate support Formula 1 could not exist.”
His retirement will open up potential new moves in the F1 driver market with a seat now open alongside Lance Stroll at Aston Martin, which is owned by Stroll’s billionaire father, Lawrence, who has big ambitions for the team.
Vettel made his 2007 US GP debut for BMW before being signed full-time by the Toro Rosso team mid-season. A year later, he delivered an absolute masterclass for the team in the wet at Monza to claim his maiden victory and become the sport’s youngest GP winner at the time, an honor since claimed by Max Verstappen.
He was promoted to the full Red Bull team in 2009 and with the team and his car at their best, won his four titles, including two utterly dominant seasons in 2011 and 2013, when he won 11 respectively. and 13 races. He will end his F1 career at the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi, which will be his 300th meeting.
He is currently 14th in the championship in a very uncompetitive Aston Martin which paid tribute to the team. “For the past two years I have been an Aston Martin driver – and although our results have not been as good as we had hoped, it is very clear to me that everything is being worked out. set up so that a team needed to run at the very beginning.” highest level for years to come,” he said.
Stroll said he had hoped Vettel would stay with the team but accepted he wanted to move on. “We made it clear to him that we wanted him to continue with us next year,” he said. “But in the end he did what he thought was right for him and his family, and of course we respect that. He drove fantastic races for us and, behind the scenes, his experience and expertise with our engineers have been extremely valuable.”
Hamilton, who ended Vettel’s dominance by winning the 2014 Drivers’ title, wrote on Twitter: “Seb, it was an honor to call you a contender and an even greater honor to call you my friend. Leaving this sport better than you found it is always the goal. I have no doubt that whatever awaits you will be exciting, meaningful and rewarding. I love you, man.
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