Sebastian Vettel will leave Formula 1 at the end of the season

Fifteen years after his debut in the premier class of motorsport, the four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel will end his career in F1 to

Fifteen years after his debut in the premier class of motorsport, the four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel will end his career in F1 to the end of this seasonannounced this Thursday.

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Vettel, 35, currently drives for the Aston Martin team.

“The decision to leave F1 at the end of the year was a difficult one to make and I thought about it a lot. At the end of the year I want to take some time to reflect on what I want to do next,” Vettel said, quoted in a statement from his team released before the Hungarian GP this weekend.

“As a father, I want to spend more time with my family. It is not about saying goodbye today, but rather about saying thank you to everyone, starting with the fans, without whom F1 could not exist,” he added.

World champion in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 when he was at Red Bull, Vettel has 53 Grand Prix victories to date, being only surpassed by the British Lewis Hamilton (103 victories) and by his compatriot Michael Schumacher (91).

After his time at Ferrari from 2015 to 2020, he signed for Aston Martin in 2021 without having won a race since then.

– 14th this season –

Vettel failed during his time at Ferrari to offer the Italian team a new drivers’ world title, which would have been the first for the ‘Scuderia’ since the Finn Kimi Raikkonen achieved it in 2007.

After his stormy departure from the Italian brand, Vettel found refuge in Aston Martin, the team of Canadian millionaire Lawrence Stroll whose son, Lance, is his current partner.

After a difficult 2021 season in which he finished 12th in the World Cup, Vettel is currently 14th with just 15 points.

A complicated end of the race for the one who was dominant in F1. After having participated in testing sessions within the Swiss team Sauber, Vettel made his racing debut with Toro Rosso (now Alpha Tauri) in 2007 before becoming, at the time, the youngest Grand Prix winner in history. (Monza, 2008) with 21 years, two months and 11 days. That record was later broken by the Dutchman Max Verstappen.

But he is still one of the most successful drivers in terms of World Championships behind Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton (7 each), Juan Manuel Fangio (5) and tied with Alain Prost.

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– In the shadow of Schumacher –

His time at Ferrari, although it resulted in 14 Grand Prix victories, did not add any more world titles to his record. Vettel finished on the second step of the podium twice (2017 and 2018) behind Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes.

His last year had been dire (13th in the World Championship) and his departure from Ferrari took place in an atmosphere of tension, while Ferrari already had its eyes on the then-promising Charles Leclerc.

Discreet -he is the only driver not to have social networks-, very jealous of his private and family life, Vettel happens to be a great connoisseur of the history of motorsports and an avid collector of motorcycles and cars.

Like Lewis Hamilton, he does not hesitate to commit himself to defending causes such as ecology and environmental protection. In that sense, he is a great promoter of synthetic fuels, considered the way to the future of Formula 1.

Despite his victories, he remains in the shadow of his illustrious compatriot Michael Schumacher. Ironies of fate, according to rumors from the paddock, it could be his son, Mick Schumacher, who will replace him next year at Aston Martin.