Sebastian Vettel, a four-time world champion, will retire from Formula One at the end of this season.
The 35-year-old admitted that the decision was “tough” and that he “spent a lot of time thinking about it.”
At the conclusion of the year, the German indicated he would “take more time to ponder on what I will focus on next.” He stated that spending more time with his family was a top priority for him.
Vettel will retire as one of the sport’s most successful drivers.
Only Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, and Juan Manuel Fangio have more world championships than Vettel, while only Hamilton and Schumacher have more race victories than him.
“Today is not about saying goodbye,” he added. Rather, it is about saying thank you – to everyone, especially the fans, without whom F1 would not exist.”
Vettel, who won four consecutive drivers’ championships with Red Bull from 2010 to 2013, said he “really enjoyed” his time with Aston Martin in 2021 and 2022, adding: “Although our results have not been as good as we had hoped, it is very clear to me that everything that a team needs to race at the very highest level for years to come.”
“I hope that the work I did last year and am continuing to do this year will be helpful in the development of a team that will win in the future, and I will work as hard as I can between now and the end of the year with that goal in mind, giving as always my best in the last 10 races.”
Aston Martin had hoped to retain Vettel for the following season, but he decided to retire from the sport.
In recent years, he has been a vocal advocate for social and environmental causes.
Vettel has always avoided social media, but he opened an Instagram account soon before his retirement announcement on Thursday, with his biography portraying him as a “public person.”
“I believe in change and progress and that every little bit makes a difference.
“Committing to my passion no longer goes side by side with my wish to be a great father and a husband.”
He added: “I feel we live in very decisive times and how we all shape these next years will determine our lives.
“My passion comes with certain aspects that I have learnt to dislike. They might be solved in the future but the will to apply that change has to become much stronger and has to lead to action today – we cannot afford to wait.
“My best race is still to come.”