Motorsports

Published on July 29th, 2022 | by Joshua Chin

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Sebastian Vettel To Retire From F1 At The End Of 2022

The four-time world champion cites his children as being the main reasons behind his F1 retirement decision. 

Sebastian Vettel has recently announced that he will soon be retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the current 2022 season. Revealing the news on his newly-created Instagram account, the four-time world champion cites his family and the clashing of his interests outside the sport as the reason behind this decision. 

“Next to racing, I have grown a family and I love being around them. I have grown other interests outside Formula 1,” stated Vettel in his video announcement on Instagram. ‘My passion for racing and Formula 1 comes with lots of time spent away from them and takes a lot of energy. Committing to my passion the way I did and the way I think it is right does no longer go side by side with my wish to be a great father and husband.”

“My goals have shifted from winning races and fighting for championships to seeing my children grow, passing on my values, helping them up when they fall, listening to them when they need me, not having to say goodbye, and most importantly, being able to learn from them and let them inspire me,” he added. 

Currently racing for Aston Martin, Vettel is set to sign off at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. A race which will incidentally also be his 300th entry onto the Formula 1 starting grid.  

The 35-year-old German made his F1 debut in 2007 with Sauber, but is perhaps most well known for his utter dominance in the early 2010s during his time at Red Bull Racing, where he scooped up four consecutive world championships from 2010 and 2013. In fact, Vettel still holds the title as being the youngest-ever F1 World Champion with his 2010 title, and is also currently ranked third on the all-time list of Grand Prix winners with 53 race victories and 122 podium finishes. 

Despite his astounding achievements on track however, fans of the sports will perhaps remember him more fondly by the more recent work he has done outside of the track. Adopting a role as more of a father figure in the F1 paddock during the current latter stages of his career, Vettel has since become more well known for his activism and has been increasingly vocal on various environmental and social issues. 

Among the more memorable deeds that Vettel has performed in recent times include helping to clean up litter in the grandstands after the 2021 Silverstone Grand Prix, in addition to constructing a bee hotel with the kids of a local primary school in Austria to raise awareness regarding the topic of species protection. He has also held an all-women karting event during the weekend of the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and his continued outspoken support towards the LGBTQ community has also lead him to become the first F1 driver to feature as a cover star of LGBTQ magazine Attitude.

Vettel has yet to announce any future plans yet away from F1, but it is highly unlikely that the German will be stepping away from the sport for good. Though even if he does, his on-track achievements and off-track contributions has already more than cemented his reputation to be considered as one of the greatest drivers of all time. 

In any case, what is perhaps at least more cheerful to think about now is who will be replacing Vettel at Aston Martin next season. Many names are currently being bounced around the paddock by pundits as to who will be partnering Lance Stroll in 2023, with these names ranging from Formula E champion Nyck de Vries to rising Formula 2 star Oscar Piastri. 

Some wilder speculations are even naming the more mature F1 drivers like Daniel Ricciardo and even Fernando Alonso as being a shoe-in for that soon-to-be vacant seat, as their experience may be considered an important asset to the fledgling British team. Whatever it is though, it can well and truly be said that the 2022 Formula 1 silly season has officially begun. 

Aston Martin AMR22 Sebastian Vettel Lance Stroll

Full transcript of Sebastian Vettel’s video announcement posted to Instagram: 

I hereby announce my retirement from Formula One by the end of the 2022 season.

Probably I should start with a long list of people to thank now. But I feel it is more important to explain the reasons behind my decision.

I love this sport, it has been central to my life since I can remember. But as much as there is life on track, there is my life off track too. Being a racing driver has never been my sole identity. I very much believe in identity by who we are and how we treat others, rather than what we do.

Who am I?

I am Sebastian, father of three children and husband to a wonderful woman. I am curious and easily fascinated by passionate or skilled people. I am obsessed with perfection. I am tolerant and feel we all have the same rights to live, no matter what we look like, where we come from and who we love.

I love being outside. I love nature and its wonders. I’m stubborn and impatient. I can be really annoying. I like to make people laugh. I like chocolate and the smell of fresh bread. My favourite colour is blue. I believe in change and progress, and that every little bit makes a difference. I am an optimist and I believe people are good.

Next to racing, I have grown a family and I love being around them. I have grown other interests outside Formula One. My passion for racing and Formula One comes with lots of time spent away from them and takes a lot of energy. Committing to my passion the way I did and the way I think it is right does no longer go side by side with my wish to be a great father and husband.

The energy it takes to become one with the car and the team, to chase perfection, takes focus and commitment. My goals have shifted from winning races and fighting for championships, to seeing my children grow, passing on my values, helping them up when they fall, listening to them when they need me, not having to say good bye, and most importantly, being able to learn from them and let them inspire me.

Children are our future. Further I feel there is so much to explore and learn, about life and about myself.

Speaking of the future, 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 grow much, much stronger, and has to be leading to action today. Talk is not enough, and we cannot afford to wait. There is no alternative. The race is underway.

My best race? Still to come.

I believe in moving forwards and moving on. Time is a one way street and I want to go with the times. Looking back is only going to slow you down.

I look forward to race down unknown tracks and I will be finding new challenges. The marks I left on track will stay until time and rain will wash them away. New ones will be put down. Tomorrow belongs to those shaping today. The next corner is in good hands, as the new generation has already turned in. I believe there is still a race to win.

Farewell, and thanks for letting me share the track with you. I loved every bit of it.

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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