Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Vettel says he’s not thinking of retirement yet

2019 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel says retirement isn’t on his mind yet despite recent comments by Bernie Ecclestone suggesting the four-times world champion might be thinking of calling time on his Formula 1 career.

Asked about Ecclestone’s comments in China, Vettel said: “I’m not going to be in Formula One as long as he was, that’s for sure. But I hope I’m going to be as fit and as sharp as he is today when I’m hopefully that old.

“I don’t know, to be honest. At the moment I feel on top of my game, I feel that I know what I’m doing. I’m very, very self-critical, very ambitious and I put a lot of expectation on to myself.

“I love driving, I love the sensation of the speed, I love fighting with these guys so there’s a lot of things that at the moment I really like and I’ll miss so that’s why it’s not an option to quit tomorrow, I’m quite happy to race. And then, yeah, I’ve got the contract but that’s a piece of paper and then we see what happens.”

Vettel made his F1 debut in 2007 with BMW Sauber. His current Ferrari contract runs until the end of the 2020 F1 season.

Last month Vettel told The Times he was unsure whether he would remain in F1 after 2020, when Liberty Media is due to overhaul the sport’s regulations. “A lot of the values that used to be around, they are only partly around,” he said. “Formula One is now more a show and a business than a sport.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “Vettel says he’s not thinking of retirement yet”

  1. Would be a sad day when Vettel and Lewis leave the sport. I think If Lewis to Ferrari happens then Vettel will retire.

    1. I think If Lewis to Ferrari happens then Vettel will retire.

      I think it will be the other way around.
      First Vettel will leave (voluntarily or less so) and then Hamilton will jump in (he mentioned in the past that he loved to race for Ferrari).

      1. Hamilton will never switch to ferrari unless ferrari can build a faster car. It is important to understand that the car is not the only reason hamilton drives for merc even though it is by far the biggest reason. Merc gives hamilton lot of freedom to do his own stuff outside of racing and I’m sure that also includes things like personal sponsorship deals and having his own social media accounts. With ferrari you don’t get that. Not to mention at merc hamilton has a team that is almost built around him. He has been with the quite a long time and move to ferrari would mean he has to start from 0.

        As long as mercedes keeps building best cars there is 0 chance that hamilton moves anywhere.

        1. Hamilton won’t retire or leave Mercedes until he has eight WDCs.

    2. On the contrary, I would be pleased. They are both great drivers and I respect them very much, but they took 9 out of the last 11 titles and I’d like to see a change. Some might say Verstappen or Leclerc, but my secret pick for a future champion would be George Russell.

  2. I like the old hands to hang around, not just vanish straight away. Like Kimi is now. The problem of course is that with so few seats in F1 this deny’s fresh young talent from entering the sport.

    I don’t think you are at the top of your game anymore Seb but you are certainly one of the top four drivers in my opinion so please don’t leave us just yet.
    Liberty may introduce “Anti-Spin” technology for 2020 so there is that to look forwards to ;)

  3. This season will mark a crucial point in Vettels career. If he consistently proofs to be the better driver at Ferrari his chances are high to extend his contract.
    If he does not, he may still extend like Kimi did, a de facto second driver. But I don’t think his ego will allow it.
    Getting another top team drive will probably be impossible, even if Hamilton moves to Ferrari, Mercedes will rather sign Verstappen.

  4. Man, this game is viscous. Give the guy a break vultures.

    1. I think Vettel the petal will survive some online critique with his $45mil pay cheque for doing an under par job just fine.

    2. Totally agree, what we forget is that all these critics could obviously do a better job …. all the negativity gets boring.

      1. Because truth hurts? The guy has driven poorly since Baku 2017 on the world stage, of course he’s going to get stick for it. It’s part of being a famous sports person.

        1. Go a little back to Mexico 2016.

          1. Or the entire 2014 season

  5. Bernie just wants to see Vettel leave. He always has. Bernie feels that F1 has done Vettel good, but F1 didn’t get anything from Vettel in return (just 4 boring win-from-pole years combined with an absent personality). Personally I am more neutral; he helps filling the grid but can’t remember him ever being exciting to watch, but then again they can’t all be.

    1. Bernie’s opinion matters in 2019?

    2. In terms of marketing and popularity, I think we can’t compare Vettel to Lewis. However, all the current F1 drivers are good laureate of the Bernie F1 school. Good boys with little or less personality compared to the old drivers (Senna, Piquet, Mansell, Prost, Villeneuve…). The only exception is Fernando Alonso.

      1. Gerhard Berger had more personality than all those you mention put together…I can’t think of any post-sixties drivers with more joie de vivre.

        1. Got to give Alesi a mention as well then.
          I loved that guy’s passion and determination.

          I forget which race it was (happened twice perhaps?) but the team were yelling at him to pit for fuel and he was “It’s OK – it’s OK – I can get another lap yet!”
          Moments later – – – “Ermm, I’m out of fuel guys”

          He made every race a delight for me :)

  6. I also think that Hamilton will end his career at Ferrari when Vettel retires. VER will take his place at MERC. Would be really cool if HAM can get a WDC with Ferrari. Just hoping that F1 is still around by than.

  7. Sebastian is getting a bit soft, I think. He has definitely lost the edge he had and I doubt he can return to the top of his game with this Ferrari. I’m nevertheless positive when it comes to Red Bull. They’re in a terrible need of a consistent and a reliable second driver.

  8. “I’m quite happy to race. And then, yeah, I’ve got the contract but that’s a piece of paper and then we see what happens.”

    Just me, or does that look like he will look to switch team if he looses #1 status at Ferrari?

  9. Maybe having children has softened him. First one came along in 2014, when he got beaten by Ricciardo and left Red Bull.

    1. I definitely got softer after children #dadbod

  10. Ha, the only person deciding Vets future is… Lec! If he beats him, then Vet will indeed retire!

  11. i dont understand. how is it more a show and a business and less of a sport?

  12. Maybe Vettel will join Kimi at Sauber and enjoy racing with less pressure and pure passion :-)

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