Big news, Formula 1 fans. Hours after opening an official Instagram account, Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel has officially announced his retirement from F1 at the end of the 2022 season.
Last week, Vettel just told the media that he plans to continue racing. But in a sudden turn of events, the former world champion has now confirmed he will be stepping away from the grid.
“I love this sport. It has been central to the my life for as long as I can remember. But as much as there is life on-track, there is my life off-track, too,” Vettel said. “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.”
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“Next to racing, I have grown a family and I love being around them. I have grown other interests outside of Formula 1. My passion for racing and Formula 1 comes with a 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 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.”
Vettel, who won four titles with Red Bull Racing from 2010 to 2013, marks the end of his storied career with a total of 53 race wins and 122 podium finishes under his belt. Of course, the season isn’t over yet, so he might still add to that tally with Aston Martin.
“My best race? Still to come. I believe in moving forwards and moving on,” Vettel said as he closed his announcement. “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.”
Surely, Seb will be missed on the track. We’re looking forward to seeing what the man will be up to once he’s finally stepped away from it, though. You can watch Vettel’s full announcement below:
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