Vettel announces he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of 2022

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Four-times Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has announced he will retire from the sport at the end of the 2022 season.

The Aston Martin driver revealed his decision in a social media post ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. Vettel, who is married and had three children, said he had decided to dedicate more time to his family.

“My passion for racing and Formula 1 comes with lots of time spent away from them and takes a lot of energy,” he said. “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.”

Vettel has also become an increasingly outspoken advocate of sustainable technologies in recent years. He admitted this has also influenced his decision to call time on his F1 career.

“My passion comes with certain aspects that I have learned to dislike,” Vettel said. “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.”

In a statement subsequently released by his team, Vettel said his decision to retire “has been a difficult one for me to take and I have spent a lot of time thinking about it.”

“At the end of the year I want to take some more time to reflect on what I will focus on next,” he continued. “It is very clear to me that, being a father, I want to spend more time with my family.

“But today is not about saying goodbye. Rather, it is about saying thank you – to everyone – not least to the fans, without whose passionate support Formula 1 could not exist.”

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Vettel made his F1 debut in 2007. He joined Red Bull in 2009 and the following year won the first of his four consecutive world championship titles. He moved to Ferrari in 2015 and won 14 more races for the Scuderia. However his pursuit of a fifth world championship title ultimately proved unsuccessful.

After leaving the team he joined Aston Martin at the beginning of last year. Vettel said he’d “had the privilege of working with many fantastic people in Formula 1 over the past 15 years [and] there are far too many to mention and thank.

“Over the past two years I have been an Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team driver and, although our results have not been as good as we had hoped, it is very clear to me that everything is being put together that a team needs to race at the very highest level for years to come.

“I have really enjoyed working with such a great bunch of people. Everyone – Lawrence, Lance, Martin, Mike, the senior managers, the engineers, the mechanics and the rest of the team – is ambitious, capable, expert, committed and friendly, and I wish them all well. 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 executive chairman Lawrence Stroll said “I want to thank Sebastian from the bottom of my heart for the great work that he has done” for the team since he joined them.

“We made it clear to him that we wanted him to continue with us next year, but in the end he has done what he feels is right for himself and his family, and of course we respect that. He has driven some fantastic races for us, and, behind the scenes, his experience and expertise with our engineers have been extremely valuable.”

Stroll said Vettel is “one of the all-time greats of Formula 1” and the team will “give him a fabulous send-off” in the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

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Vettel’s retirement announcement

I hereby announce my retirement from Formula 1 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 am 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 1. 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.

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 goodbye 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 learned 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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2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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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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135 comments on “Vettel announces he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of 2022”

  1. While I never ruled out this possibility, I was still wholly positive the whole time he’d continue based on likelihood & gut feeling. Ultimately my prediction & expectation proved wrong.

  2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    28th July 2022, 11:14

    A bit sad but not unexpected.
    I think his green ideals have started to clash too much with the sport, and it cant be easy being called a hypocrite.
    He would make a good face of Formula E if he fancied giving that a rattle, failing that he’d be a good guy to have in the upper ranks of the FIA pushing for adoption of green technologies. Would be a shame to lose the guy who can name every champion in order from the sport completely.

    1. I don’t see him joining Formula E either, because their seasons (albeit shorter than F1) are still long and global which will detract from time with his family. I could see him joining WEC or DTM if he wants to continue racing, or he could as you mention join the FIA and be a push for change in F1. I also believe he could remain an advisor to Aston Martin, especially if they opt for bringing Schumacher on board.

  3. He is obviously a very good driver but I think his four world championships is above his talent level. In 11 and 13 he only had to beat Webber (also a high quality driver) whilst almost lost to Alonso in inferior machinery in 10 and 12. Better than Raikonnen and Stroll, worse than Riccardo and Leclerc after those championships, plus given the Ferrari implosion, I struggle to see him as an all time great.

    1. I think this is a pretty poor take on Sebastian’s career. He’s absolutely on the list of all time greats, and has proven time and time again that he was a top tier driver, regardless of a few bad seasons and a decline towards the end of his career.

    2. Just like Hamilton, in 15, 19 and 20 he was against nobody, in 16 lost due to a lot of bad starts and in 21 wouldn’t have been in fight in the last race if it wasn’t for hungary

      1. Too much cherry picking in your statement about Hamilton. Yes, bad starts in 2016 but despite that he was crawling back and on course to winning the title until the engine blow in Malaysia. He had one more DNF than Nico that season, and that made the difference. In 2021, putting aside the fact that Redbull spent the entire European leg of the season putting big dents on Lewis’s title hopes, and even having the luxury of two consecutive races in Austria where they dominated, plus the Spa sham, the only reason why Redbull even had a chance, and clearly the best chassis from pre-season testing, was the floor and rear brake ducts changes imposed by the regulations. Let’s not forget that the title only went to Max because Masi cracked under pressure from Redbull and broke the rules.

        1. Well if you look at the points Ham lost nearly 50 points in bad starts in 16 and gained nearly 50 in 21 (Silverstone + hungary) whist max gained 12 from spa + Abu Dhabi

    3. Uh it’s so hard to judge, we really need better references than we usually get in F1. Conditions are never the same for two drivers, even teammates, so all that’s left for us is that gut feeling. I have mixed feelings about Vettel myself, but more and more I think I base that on those unlucky times in Ferrari when he made a couple mistakes. Yet, he was under bigger pressure to perform than Hamilton, in more complicated team and car that was fast, but probably not as balanced as Mercedes’ car. But then, I’ll never know what would Hamilton achieve if he was in Ferrari that year, or vice versa, but now I think I was judging Vettel too hard sometimes. It’s hard trying to catch up in F1, and Ferrari makes that at least as twice as hard. On the other hand, he had some “easy times” in Red Bull, to make judging his level of talent even harder. I’d pick Verstappen or Hamilton over him, but the difference probably isn’t that big. After all, he was really good in Torro Rosso as a very young driver, and most of us considered him a great talent even then. Now he seems mentally weaker than Hamilton, but Hamilton never drove for Ferrari. We see how hard it is on Leclerc now, and this time Ferrari actually is the fastest car without any doubt. In any case, I like him as a character, he’s a grown man and down to Earth kind of person, a family man, and that’s rare these days (maybe Perez is somewhat similar in this regard?). I wish he remained, but obviously he doesn’t believe in that team short term (and he also has to deal with daddy’s boy driving alongside).

    4. I agree. Vettel was a very good and talented driver, but never achieved the completeness that
      the best of the best (only four drivers in the last two decades, Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton and Verstappen) had. He was especially prone to both short and long-term mental fallbacks severely setting back his performance.

      1. Verstappen is definitely not at the Schumacher or Hamilton level yet. He has potential to be but needs to deliver on it. He’s kind of at the Hamilton at McLaren / Schumacher at Benneton / Alonso at Renault / Raikkonen up to 2007 / Vettel midway through his title run / Senna or Prost midway through their McLaren stints.

        Verstappen has taken the first steps to greatness but things can go two ways when he eventually moves teams, faces the next big thing in different eras of F1 / races as the champion not the chaser, faces a top, consistent teammate etc

        1. I agree that it may be a bit early to consider him absolute top tier, and it’s not since a long time ago that I have started to consider him absolute top tier. However, Hamilton at McLaren, Schumi at Benetton, Alonso’s first stint with Renault – they had much less experience than Max has now. It is now his eighth season, he is past his 150th race start. He is more like Schumi defending his first title with Ferrari or Hamilton defending his first title with Mercedes. When someone is no more simply an extremely talented, very quick success-hungry driver, but has that “ultimate boss” aura, the universal top-level skillset paired with infinite determination and maturity, way too solid to fade away with changing circumstances, and making almost any of the contenders look simply not enough. Sebastian has never had this, not even in his prime.
          By the way, even the best of the best have some open questions concerning their career, e.g. Schumacher (during the bulk of his career, before his first retirement) never had a strong teammate, while Hamilton had quite a few.

      2. Also I think as their careers have planned out Vettel and Alonso are pretty even in my estimation, both above the next tier of Raikkonen, Hakkinen, Mansell but below Prost, who is below Senna, who is below Schumacher and below Hamilton. Fangio, Clark, Stewart and Lauda would all fit into that range with Fangio or Clark probably at the top but so hard to compare to more modern drivers. Verstappen could end up anywhere within that range.

      3. Yeah, let’s see how Verstappen pans out before comparing him to the greats.

    5. I guess you followed the unlucky Ferrari adventure of Seb with a very poor attention.

    6. In 11 and 13 he only had to beat Webber (also a high quality driver)

      Who didn’t once get second place in the WDC. Either the car wasn’t that superior, or Webber wasn’t a high quality driver.

      1. Steveetienne
        28th July 2022, 16:04

        I think he may have won in 2010 if he hadn’t injured himself whilst cycling but as F1 drivers go not a top tier guy. If it wasn’t for a strategy error by not pitting late in 2012 at Canada Alonso would have been Champion. He isn’t the same calibre as Verstappen, Hamilton or Alonso.

    7. José Lopes da Silva
      28th July 2022, 20:52

      Of Vettel’s 11 victories in 2011, Webber was 2nd (accomplishing a Red Bull double) in just two of them.

      Patrese, Barrichello, Rosberg (I’ll consider that in 2015 Rosberg was a true number 2 driver, unable to mount a challenge for the title) and Bottas were always able to complete doubles, which is a good piece of evidence regarding the car’s quality.

      You can’t downgrade Vettel’s 2011 season that much.

  4. Its a shame AM weren’t able to build a good car. Because he still has the ability within him to win races. While it is great news for fresh blood in the sport Between him and Lance, you would drop Lance every time.

    1. Yes, you would in my opinion. But alas that is not the timeline we live in. I think Vettel had at least a couple more seasons in him. And I hope this isn’t the last we see of him in the sport. Perhaps a managerial role in FOM or one of the teams is in his future, I certainly hope so.

      I find that too many teams are spending too much time keeping drivers around that really aren’t that great, instead of taking risks on young talent. In the past if you were middle-of-the-road for 2 or 3 seasons at most, you were gone. But now it feels like most of these drivers are being kept around for much longer, so at least I’m glad we get another seat open for new talent, but I definitely feel it shouldn’t be Seb’s seat in this case.

      1. @sjaakfoo I feel the same and came to the conclusion teams value experience a lot more than before. It also shows up when rookies come in, it takes them more time than before to settle in and perform making teams less likely to change drivers every year. While I really like the new F1 approach with ground effect, it will also set F1 further appart from other categories, probably reinforcing this. We might be seeing the same ageing faces for a while unfortunately.

        We can also question if it is still the pinnacle of the sport or if this becomes an entirely new thing. Makes me also wonder at which point talent recruitment and testing will be done on simulator rather than achievements through junior categories. We have seen drivers being very car dependent and surely teams will want to have the best at driving F1, which will show best through simulators. Racecraft might still require actual racing but the categories might not matter much.

      2. Old driver are usually better for PR and marketing unless you happen to find the one super young driver in that generation and win money form the start.

  5. LegendofSummer
    28th July 2022, 11:25

    Gutted absolutely gutted , would love to have seen him fight for another title.

  6. This was looking more and more likely. And I think it is for the best. His performances have looked more and more lacklustre as the years have gone on, and now his (welcome) activism makes his continued desire to race borderline hypocritical.

    Always a welcome figure in the paddock, with a fantastic record of achievements, I hope that the future he chooses keeps him close to F1 in some way.

    1. As a rule when a driver marries and gets childeren he will be soon out. Kids influence a driver more then they think.

  7. Well a bit surprised but who will take his seat..

    1. Probably someone who will make Lance look good. Maybe Mazepin or Latifi could join the squad.

    2. @todfod Good joke, but extremely unlikely – De Vries could be an option, or they might even try & lure Alonso.
      I haven’t really thought about possible successor options, but one I also thought about a bit at some point is Zhou, although he’s more likely to continue at Alfa.
      @qeki

      1. @jerejj

        Piastri might also be an option.. but he’s really highly rated and I don’t know if the Strolls will take that risk. Alonso?!? Alonso will eat Lance for breakfast everyday. He’ll destroy his career within half a season… I don’t see Alonso playing nice with the boss’s son either. Crazy to think that the biggest liability in the Aston Martin team is the boss’ son. If Lance wasn’t a concern.. they could have actually had a really formidable line up of drivers.

        1. A formidable line up does nothing with that car, stroll is not the only problem.

        2. @todfod Unlikely in any case & my view on Alonso changed slightly after finding out he’s allegedly already re-signed with a formal announcement coming next week.
          Seeing your other reply below, Ocon is under contract, so he isn’t going anywhere.

    3. I bet Gasly would love that seat…

      1. Not sure if Gasly would be interested in driving a car slower than Alpha Tauri.

        I actually think Ocon might be a good fit for that seat. Maybe Alpine should loan him out for 2 years to Aston, and have a more formidable pairing of Piastri and Alonso next year.

        1. I don’t understand why he was so quick to sign for another year with AT while quite a few retirements were on the horizon. No matter what happens, AT will always be a little sister in the RB-family, they have never been able to step forward from the back of the midfield (their all-time best in WCC is 6th since their inception as Toro Rosso), and he will be kvyatted as soon as RB finds promising rookies to promote to F1.

      2. @antznz He’s already under contract.

      3. Electroball76
        30th July 2022, 13:35

        Probably more likely to be Alex or Yuki. Or Romain.

    4. Mick Schumacher

      1. You are not wrong :)

      2. @ahxshades @ferrox-glideh
        While I don’t entirely rule him out, I don’t view him as the most likely successor.

  8. I hope he gives Le Man / Indy / Dakar or Extreme E a go like Fernando, Jenson, et al.

    Also interesting to note his last race in Abu Dhabi will see him join Lewis in the 300 GP start club.

    1. Unfortunately he’ll fall one short on 299 starts, 300 entries. He had a DNS on the formation lap in Bahrain 2016.

  9. Tiaki Porangi
    28th July 2022, 11:33

    So, Vettel to end up at the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team (soon to be McLaren), given how much he cares for the planet etc, and Nyck de Vries to head in the opposite direction, to Aston Martin.

    Right??

  10. Chris Horton
    28th July 2022, 11:34

    Well done Seb, what a superb career.

  11. Seb is a very nice guy and has been a damned good racer. I have been thoroughly entertained by his stint in F1 and wish him well in whatever he decides to do next. Enjoy the rest of the season Champ!

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      28th July 2022, 13:32

      I’ve been a critic of his at some points but there’s no doubt that he’s been a phenomenal racer. You only need to look at his 53 wins and 57 poles – one of the very few F1 drivers to reach the century mark combined.

      He put Red Bull on the map and they owe a lot of their success to his ability to take off by the 1st corner never to be seen again. As Hobbs said, it was reminiscent of Jim Clark to put Vettel’s ability in context.

      With V8 and V10s, I doubt many would be able to get by him and he may have collected many more championships. He definitely didn’t enjoy the hybrid cars but was still quite competitive at Ferrari and Aston Martin.

      His rivalry with Hamilton, Webber, and Alonso will certainly go down in history. I’m very excited to see him continue his work on improving the environment.

      We’re at a precipice and we need to change or it will all have been for nothing. It’s now time for him to champion a much more worthy cause.

      1. His 53 wins and 57 poles and taking off after first corner are because of the dominant car, although it wasn’t as dominant as the mercedes the following years, we saw what he could do in 2017 and 2018 when the car is good but not best or clear best, the 2017 season was decent, 2018 pretty bad.

      2. @freelittlebirds That is a very fine comment, cheers!

  12. For some reason this made me a little sad when I read it. Best of luck to him, especially later in his career – he seems kind, funny and intelligent. And as much as people might say he was ‘underserving’, 50-plus wins and 4 world titles, you need a bit of talent. And he was ruthless in those Red Bulls.

    I wish him all the best in life.

    1. Nicely put @bernasaurus I felt a bit sad too. When Vettel arrived in Formula 1, I was still watching practices and races on free-to-air Brazilian TV, meaning commentary by a Globo presenter who insisted on depicting Hamilton as some kind of evil malandro who shouldn’t really be in F1 (it doesn’t take much today to guess where that was coming from: think Piquet-culture) and was extolling Vettel’s virtues as the new Schumacher from his first tyre on the tarmac. Enough to say, it didn’t make me an instant fan. Four titles later with Red Bull, even less so. And then Ferrari and (after a few years) the rivalry with Hamilton at Mercedes. It was easy to find flaws in his driving, and sometimes his on-track temperament, as a rival fan, though I’ve always thought him brave and committed. And somehow that now seems much easier to recognise in his commitment to issues outside Formula 1, for which I have huge admiration and respect. I’ve grown to like him a lot. I really wish him all the best. Some drivers I like seeing carrying on (Alonso, I get entirely why he’s still around). But Vettel’s comments in this announcement make it sound like a good decision taken at the right moment.

      1. José Lopes da Silva
        28th July 2022, 20:57

        I’m sending you by best compliments from Portugal and hoping you’re able to send the Myth to somewhere very far away as soon as possible.

    2. I remember around ten years ago Vettel pumping in fast laps consistently down to the hundredth of a second in practice sessions, very impressive stuff. There was a reason he got put in the best car of it’s time. I have enjoyed watching him relax into the role of elder driver.

  13. Think he had a great run in F1. His 4 championships actually worked against him in the later parts of his career.. and I don’t think he got everything he could have from his Ferrari stint. I think he’s matured a whole lot as a person though.. he’s a much more likeable and humble character since his Red Bull days. He will definitely be missed by fans and the paddock.

  14. I will actually miss him.
    I think he is better than what some people make him out for; he has driven exceptionally well at STR, Red Bull and part of his Ferrari career.

    1. People look at his Ferrari stint and only think of the failure to properly challenge Merc in 2017 and 2018. But they forget how good he was in 2015 and for the most part, 2017. IIRC, Keith rated him best 2015 driver https://www.racefans.net/2015/12/18/2015-f1-driver-rankings-1-sebastian-vettel/

  15. Vettel’s stint at Ferrari and despite losing in a bad fashion to Hamilton and Mercedes will be always remembered because of the transition and spirit of the team he helped create from being so down in 2014 with Alonso leaving the team to fighting for the championship in 2017 and 2018. I still think that 2015 was his best ever season in F1, shame Ferrari were not competitive that year.

    I hope Vettel will find happiness in the future as his passion now is in clear conflict with what he believes. He has been bullied by the leftist and labelled as an hypocrite for being a racing driver and an environmentalist. He can now focus on his new life and find peace.

    Danke Sebastian !

    1. @tifoso1989 Vettel was bullied by the right wing even more, for daring to have an opinion outside of his specialty.

      1. @ferrox-glideh
        I’m not a supporter of either side BTW. Though I didn’t know about the right wing bullying Seb. Thanks for the info !

        1. In Canada, the flack he got for criticizing the tar sands came from conservative right wing politicians and their supporter’s newspapers, who value the money that comes from taking poison out of the ground more than the health and well being of other people and the environment.

  16. I had very little respect for him when he was winning, and I still he is an overrated one trick pony as a driver – it would be wrong to pretend otherwise. However, the last few years I have grown to like and respect him as a person.
    The paddock will miss him.

    1. I have very little respect for most of the comment above and it really doesn’t say much – it would be wrong to pretend otherwise. However the last line has made me grow to like it.
      [Insert random statement]

  17. I’ve always liked Seb, he comes across to me as a genuine, fallible person, rather than as a scripted media personality.

    I thank him for all the entertainment he has provided me and wish him well in whatever he chooses to do next.

  18. Well this was the most dignity I have ever seen packed into a retirement announcement.
    I bet Aston isn’t a great place it used to be and perhaps Seb’s priorities shifted now… and he is a bit too philosophical to be trundling around the back in a team that’s made up entirely of rich father’s ambition :)

  19. I am kind of surprised, as it seemed like he was enjoying things a bit more at AM after that terrible final season at Ferrari. I thought he had a couple of years left in him yet. However, they’re clearly further from podiums and race wins than they were when he joined, and other than a pay cheque, there’s no longer much reason for him to be racing, so I can see why he wants to spend more time with his family.

    Also, I wonder how much of his social campaigning side is part of this. Maybe he’s uncomfortable having to wear the brands of the likes of Aramco while speaking up on LGBT+ rights and climate change?

    1. Obviously he said they have all the cards to be winning in the following years, that’s a blatant lie, they’re going backwards.

  20. Derek Edwards
    28th July 2022, 12:08

    It’s been a long journey since those first outings and that stunning first win for Toro Rosso, but of all the stats that he has accumulated through his illustrious career the one that will stay with me is that streak of nine wins in a row at the end of 2013.

    More importantly, his presence and his various statements on progressive causes have genuinely served to improve the sport, and I could definitely see him getting some kind of ambassador role, in which position I think he would be ideal.

  21. Not an unexpected announcement, but it still made me a little sad. Vettel is not only one of the all-time greats but a fun personality and his presence will be missed.

    He may be a “victim” – in as much as a four-time champion can be called one – to the fact that his domination in 2010-13 was in part due to superior machinery and a lack of rivals (Alonso had lackluster Ferrari’s, Hamilton was in his wilderness years etc.), but I remember the energy he brought when he came to the sport and the feeling that we were watching Schumacher’s heir. He went well above and beyond just being a “wunderkind” or a lucky driver, and I am sure his legacy will only grow over time. Danke Vettel!

  22. Wouldn’t have been a Ferrari fan if it wasn’t for this man in Australia 2017

  23. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    28th July 2022, 12:23

    Deservedly one of the best drivers F1’s ever had, a worthy 4 time champion that certainly could have taken more and quite an honourable man. For me one of the first F1 drivers I really started to love and follow, along with Button & Raikkonen and so for me, certainly sad to see him go.

  24. He’s been polarising. As an Aussie we liked to see him as the villain who denied Webber a championship and Multi-21, but he was simply too fast for MW sadly for us. Seemed to crumble under pressure at Ferrari, something that he did not do in ’10 and ’12 at RBR. As for those who think that despite being a 4-time champ he’s not one of the greats simply as he won in cars which were mostly dominant – most WDCs are. However his performance against Ricciardo and Leclerc maybe show that he was quick but not Senna/Schumi quick.

    Now of course talk will shift to who replaces him at Aston. A rookie against Stroll? Would you risk it if you ran the team? It could go one of two ways – either the rookie beats Stroll and builds pressure on his seat, or Stroll beats a rookie and kills his career. Or would you go to an established name, who if he beat Stroll it might be expected to happen? Ricciardo? Gasly? Albon?

    1. @clay – If I ran the team, that means Lance Stroll would be my son. Therefore, I definitely wouldn’t risk a rookie coming in and immediately beating my son. I’d look for someone who has been in F1 for quite a long time, has a good reputation but is in decline and is beatable. Seb was a perfect choice. I’m not sure who would be good to fill the spot now… Possibly Hulkenberg if he’d be interested?

      I’m pretty sure it’ll be De Vries though. Toto was only recently talking about how he wasn’t going to interfere to get him a seat which means he definitely will interfere to try and get him a seat. As a Mercedes customer team, there’s a good chance they’ll take him on. Maybe they’ll accept some drawings as payment?

      1. Maybe they’ll accept some drawings as payment?

        LOL – I like that @petebaldwin ;)

  25. That a bit odd comment of Vettel that you mentioned in your weekend paddock-diary probably got a bit of a wondering flashback yesterday, right @clairecottingham? Only to see a confirming first post today. Cheeky Vettel!

    He is another driver whose future remains uncertain, as he will be out of contract at the end of the year. If he leaves, many will miss his support for LGBTQ+ rights and promotion of environmental awareness. I asked him who would take his and Hamilton’s place as the human rights champions in the paddock once their racing days are over: “Instagram,” quipped Vettel, whose aversion to social media is well-known.

  26. I don’t really get why people say he dominated 2010-13 because when you look back he really didn’t.

    You can’t say that anyone dominated 2010 or that anyone really had a superior car as I think the Red Bull & Ferrari were fairly evenly matched and the McLaren while probably a bit behind was still in the mix & who had the better package tended to change depending on the circuit.

    I think Red Bull did have the better car in 2011 by a decent amount & that is a season you could say RBR & Vettel dominated.

    2012 is a difficult season to read because it was so all over the place. I don’t think you can say that the Red Bull was the dominant car & I don’t even think it was the best car for most of that year (The McLaren was probably the better car at the start & by the end) but it was the most consistent & reliable, Especially in the back half of the year which coincided with Alonso having some bad luck & McLaren doing there best to take themselves out of the hunt.

    And 2013 was more like 2011 in terms of the Red Bull been the best car with Vettel maximising it’s potential which led to him dominating the 2nd half of the season.

    It’s the same when people look back at those 5 years of Schumacher & Ferrari championships from 2000-2004 & even the Mercedes success from 2014-2020. Yes those teams/drivers won all the titles in those periods but it’s wrong to say they dominated all of the years in which they won them as some of those seasons were far closer than people like to remember.

    1. Red Bull was the best car of 2010 by quite some margin. Ferrari wasn’t even close.

      They messed up the strategies, had bad reliability or driver mistakes in a lot of races.

      They didn’t had the best car in a couple of races only, like Germany and Italy.

    2. In 2010, Red Bull took 14 poles out of 19 races. Alonso won another two, and McLaren also got two poles.
      It took 8 races for a team other than Red Bull to win the pole. It happened in Canada. Next time, it took 6 races for a team to win the pole – Alonso did it at Monza.
      In Brazilian GP, Red Bull didn’t take pole due to conditions – lucky Hulk started first in that race, but a Red Bull was alongside him. Also, in Singapore, Alonso was lucky to take the pole – Vettel made an error in his final attempt. He had the speed to be on pole, just messed it up. So, in reality, Red Bull didn’t have the speed to win the pole only three times.

      Red Bull was also fast on every track, while Ferrari and McLaren perfomance was intermittent.

      If that’s not domination, I don’t know what is.

      1. pole position means domination in f1? so ferrari’s dominating this season? just asking

      2. The fastest car in qualifying isn’t always the fastest car in the race so having more poles to me doesn’t equate to dominating.

        I was looking at race pace & the performance between the 3 top teams was a lot closer in race pace. Yes the Red Bull was probably the faster more often but it was never by much.

        To me dominating is when you have the fastest car by a significant margin to the point where a team winning a race is never in any doubt. And with a driver it’s when he has the best car & wins most races with reletive ease with no risk from his team mate. Red Bull may have won more poles in 2010 but come Sunday things weren’t quite as certain which is why I wouldn’t call 2010 dominant. And Vettel especially wasn’t dominant that year.

        1. @stefmeister, Davis
          By Adrian Newey’s own admission, the RB6 was arguably his greatest ever car. The car was a downforce monster and the RBR drivers were able to take high speed corners sometimes at a higher gear than the best of the rest. They were taking Barcelona turn 3, Turkey turn 8 and Copse flat out.

          You have to consider that in 2010 there was no DRS and overtaking was nearly impossible even if the car behind was a 1s faster which pushed the FIA to intervene and introduce DRS, the Bridgestone tyres were proper racing tyres that enabled drivers to fully push without worrying about degradation that was thermal with the exception of the 2010 Canadian GP. The tyres could lose performance at the end of a stint but the construction would still be fine.

          RBR race pace was also the best with the exception of probably Monza due to the fact that they lagged massively on straights. It wasn’t just outright speed in qualifying. It was a proper domination. The only reason that enabled Alonso, Hamilton and Button to stay in the championship race was the reliability and drivers mistakes made by the RBR drivers.

          1. Red Bull was going through turn 8 at Turkey 20 km/h faster than everybody else.

            The graph comparing speeds was famous at the time, unfortunately i can’t find it anymore.

          2. Edvaldo,
            There were lots of videos that showed the speed difference in corners that were no longer available. The RB6 maximized the effects of the exhaust blown diffuser, the double diffuser, the large flexi-wings… All of those inventions were no banned subsequently…

          3. I will not go trough resources to double check my memories, but as far as i remember, RB6 was really fast, but fragile car. If they had less problems the title would have been wrapped up much earlier, but obviously this was not the case.

            As far as i remember we had 4 drivers fighting for the title up until the last two races. All 4 of them had lost points due to their own errors and with those points, they would have been champions. They also had mechanical problems, and without them, they could have been champions. Again this are my memories, do not claim it is a fact, but in my book this was not a dominant season. It was one of the better seasons to watch.

        2. The fastest car in qualifying isn’t always the fastest car in the race so having more poles to me doesn’t equate to dominating.

          While i agree with the above quote – Keith pulled some stats together and showed RB was the fastest car by some margin (Ferrari 2nd fastest, McLaren 3rd). And Keith included race pace in his 2010 assessment–something he hasn’t done for other years.

          https://www.racefans.net/2010/12/13/2010-in-stats-part-three-car-performance/

          IMO, 2012 is a better example of Seb winning in a car that wasn’t dominant.

          1. @amam
            The RB8 was dominant though in the latter part of the season when Newey and his team were able to recover most of the downforce lost from the EBD ban with the Coanda effect style exhaust. They were aided in this by Renault upgrading its engine mappings later in the season.

            They have also managed to make the DDRS – that was secretly tested in Monza and introduced in Singapore – work like no other team – Mercedes included – where the rumours suggested that they managed to channel air through it to the diffuser ( I don’t know how but that was a theory in the paddock).

    3. @stefmeister (The McLaren was probably the better car at the start & by the end) – that’s true.

      2012 was the most clownish year for driver like lewis and fernando. Lewis could’ve challenged for the title if not for things own of his own control like pathetic reliability(3+ DNF’s from a race winning position), being taken out of the race by other cars reckless driving (crashtor maldanardo trademark redmist using his car as a weapon in Valencia, hulkenbergs low IQ torpedo in brazil, grojeans suicide start in spa that almost decapitated Alonso )and politics(stripped of pole in Barcelona for bs fuel irregularity that McLaren was not allowed to challenge, some say it was a conspiracy by bernie to give Frank Willams his last win for his 70th birthday by disqualifying Lewis from pole and allowing Williams to run an illegal underweight car..) .
      This cost Lewis around 100 points. No surprise that he left McLaren at the end of the season..

      But the point stands that the late V8 era the RB was dominant and when other teams had the chance to challenge they somehow found a way to sabotage their chances.

  27. A bit sad to see him leave, I hope he can either go further in his efforts to save the earth, or that he can add some wins in other championships (Formula E?)

    On the other hand, happy to see that there will be room for new people in F1.
    I think drivers seem to be able to drive longer in F1 than before and many promising drivers can’t get a seat in F1 because of that. On the other hand, drivers like Hamilton and Alonso are still driving excellent, so… ?

  28. Finally.
    PS: What will happen to Stroll jr.? Are there any news on his future?

    1. no disrespect but is this a joke or are you not aware how F1 works?
      Strolls future? His billion dad OWNS the team and due to rich man megalomania and nepotism his seat is guaranteed for life regardless how bad he is.

    2. Stroll Jr will continue sucking on his silver spoon until his teeth fall out.

  29. It wouldnt be this quick, Just a year after Kimi, If this Aston Martin squad didn’t turn out to be so crappy. A huge disappointment compared to their tight budget days.

    1. Yes, obviously he retired cause the car was getting worse, yet in the statement said they have all the cards to win in the following years.

  30. I’ve not always been a fan of Vettel, especially during the Red Bull years but I’ve warmed to him as time goes on. He seems a genuinely funny and kind person. The blown diffuser cars seemed to suit his driving style perfectly but his star has waned since MB came to prominence.

    Thanks Seb, I will always remember that 2008 Monza win as one of the greatest displays of driving I’ve seen in some 35 years of watching F1. The wet quali pole could have been written off as a fluke but driving away from the field on a largely dry track in a Torro Rosso was pretty awe-inspiring. We knew a great driver arrived that day.

  31. Okbye

  32. Multi 21 Seb. Multi 21
    We will never forgive.
    We will never forget.

  33. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    28th July 2022, 13:33

    I’ve been probably the most vocal critic of his here at some points but there’s no doubt that he’s been a phenomenal racer. You only need to look at his 53 wins and 57 poles – one of the very few F1 drivers to reach the century mark combined.

    He put Red Bull on the map and they owe a lot of their success to his ability to take off by the 1st corner never to be seen again. As Hobbs said, it was reminiscent of Jim Clark to put Vettel’s ability in context.

    With V8 and V10s, I doubt many would be able to get by him and he may have collected many more championships. He definitely didn’t enjoy the hybrid cars but was still quite competitive at Ferrari and Aston Martin.

    His rivalry with Hamilton, Webber, and Alonso will certainly go down in history. I’m very excited to see him continue his work on improving the environment.

    We’re at a precipice and we need to change, or it will all have been for nothing. It’s now time for him to champion a much more worthy cause.

  34. If the car was there he would have had more than 4. Still of the greats to drive in F1, Won his 1st 4 in a row, I guess thats still a record.

  35. Remember his full season in F1 in 2008. Cannot believe it’s been 14 years already. Time flies.

    Let’s celebrate and enjoy all these v. good and great drivers on this grid as before we know it, they’ll retire or pushed out.

    Before hating on any driver, realize that we won’t see them around for long and if we do, time will go by quickly.

    Legendary career of a champion on track and off it too.

  36. Since Mika Häkkinen, I never felt to be a real fan of any particular F1 driver.
    Sebastian Vettel is one of the drivers who made me feel invested enough to watch the races in last 2 years, and yes I know, he wasn’t winning and most people like their favourite driver winning. I wasn’t a fan of him in his dominant years with Red Bull. But he has become one of the most intelligent and cool individuals in F1. His retirement hit me much harder than I ever assumed.

    F1 will be poorer for his absence.

  37. It is sad to see Seb leave the sport. He seems to be a very decent, thoughtful, kind person. I admire his stances on issues like LGBT rights, opportunities and respect for all and towards the environment of course. He has developed into an important voice in F1 for these causes and he will be very missed. I was never an admirer when he was younger but now he’s matured and he’s going, I will miss him. I thought he might stick around for at least another season.

    I think his four WDCs does flatter him a little. I don’t think he’s on a par as a driver with the likes of Hamilton, Schumacher, Prost or Fangio, the only others to achieve this milestone. Or even one or two that have not. But he had the opportunity to drive the best car at the time and he delivered what he needed to to, very successfully. Not everyone would have been so capable.

    Moving forward, if AM want a big name to go alongside Lance, they are going to struggle I think. Ricciardo possibly but is he still a big name? Schumacher jnr or Gasly but I am not sure if it would be a step up for them really. They may just decide to invest in someone new.

    1. He’s not even on par with alonso, who might be as good as schumacher, the amount of titles make alonso seem worse and vettel better than he is.

  38. Agree with 2 people who said “finally”, reading the headline I indeed thought: “at last”, he hasn’t exactly impressed as a driver, was good with red bull but they had the clear fastest car, and was lackluster in other areas, as shown in his time at ferrari, even when the car was good, like in 2017 and 2018 (but 2017 was a relatively good season for him), and while he’s had positive activity in subjects unrelated to racing, that’s not really what I care about in a driver, so if the performance isn’t good, and let’s say he wasn’t even very upfront in 2018 about it being his fault they lost the title, then make way for someone else.

  39. I guess mine is a similar story to many. I really didn’t like him during the RB years, and to a extend in the Ferrari. He was ruthless, and did everything to get a step over his teammate. Part of it was of course being the “enemy” to ones own favorites, but also how Webber was treated (more an RB classic than Vettel himself, I guess). But he turned out to be one of the most likeable characters in F1 in his later years, fighting for what he believes in, but also just generally coming off as sensible and caring. I’m not sure if it is maturity or simply me seeing the man instead of the competitor.

    None the less, he will certainly be missed. I hope we’ll get to see him in some other public role soon, inside or outside F1.

  40. I wasn’t really a fan of his during his Red Bull days. The number 1 finger stuff got tiring after a while. For those who say he was flattered by the equipment, name a world champion who wasn’t. He did the best with the equipment and the regulations he raced under. My lasting impression of him from his Red Bull days was storming off on lap 1 to build a gap of over 1 second so he would be out of DRS range and then keeping that gap throughout the rest of the race. He knew how to treat the tyres, manage the engine, and optimize the aero Newey and Co. provided him to stay at the head of the pack. It may have not been very exciting for me during those years but damn if he didn’t grow on me after all these years. I think he is definitely one of the most interesting characters in all of motorsport and I am looking forward to seeing what he does next.

    1. Really fine comment, cheers Leroy!

  41. Long overdue.

  42. That is a well said goodbye.

  43. Why do I get the get the feeling that Vettel was reprimanded for forcing Stroll the brake test him at the end?

    1. @jimfromus No idea why any talent driver apart from one just looking for a huge contract would sign for nepotism stroll gp. This is why I feel sorry for Sebastian, AM is a graveyard team owned by a billionaire megalomaniac who built the team around his own son who has a seat for life.

      Stroll snr spent over $200m USD grooming his son to be an F1 star and gone as far as spending another fortune buying an F1 team for jr so it wouldn’t be a huge conspiracy to also suggest that lance stroll gets preferential treatment, best engineers and better parts for his car over seb.

      The question remains to who would want to race for the team when seb retires? I cant see stroll snr hiring a super fast savant rookie like F2 champ Oscar Piastri coming in and immediately beating his precious son.
      It looks like he will cherry pick a washed up driver like Hulkenberg who has never placed on the podium in F1, out of shape so no threat or a talentless pay driver like zhou who not only isn’t fast he brings $20-30m+ year pay driver money from the ccp.

      I would be shocked if there is a fast talented driver racing for them this season because stroll snr’s ego is too big and he has already invested too much financially and emotionally in his mediocre talent son to be in F1 so surely it will dictate the ‘quality’ of the driver who will be sebs replacement.

  44. I hope we see Seb doing some work for Sky in the future, would much prefer hearing him instead of Rosberg!

  45. Makes sense; Lawrence Stroll was always clear about his intention to learn from Vettel’s title winning experience – and after two years, there’s not much more a driver has to offer on that front. Everything Vettel could say about race operations and tactics will have been said multiple times by now. From Vettel’s side, here too there is not much more to be done. The guy has a much wider view of the world than most drivers, a growing family and plenty of other interests. That can only be applauded.

    Vettel was an absolute beast in the Red Bull cars of the early 2010s, and all the talk of those being four ‘dominant’ years are classic scoreboard-reporting. His work at Ferrari was, save for 2020, mostly excellent. F1 owes him a lot of thanks for bringing the fight to Mercedes. Sadly it didn’t really materialize in 2015, 2016 was a step back, but 2017 and 2018 were good fights. Ferrari was never quite as good, which probably led to some overdriving on Vettel’s part, but we all saw what his title-winning teammate did with the same cars (that is: not much). Good stuff, even if it meant he suffered the brunt of the complaints from people who blamed him for not doing something about the boring Mercedes domination (spoiler: nobody else was, either).

    Some of his races are near as perfect as a race might be. Singapore 2013 obviously, as well as that tyre managing masterclass in Bahrain (I forget if it was 2017 or 2018). Plenty of other great races; Abu Dhabi 2012, Germany 2019 to name just two.

    I probably wouldn’t rate him as highly as Prost and Schumacher, other four+ time champions, but he was without question one of the best of his generation, and F1 was definitely lucky to have him around for so long.

  46. Wish him all the best for the future.

  47. That is the most beautiful and heartfelt retirement announcement I’ve ever read.

    The sport will be a poorer place without Seb on the grid. His kindness, his humor, his leadership and his activism have been a welcome voice and a breath of humanity and honesty that F1 needed. It’s sad to see how many comments here are denigrating him either for his activism or his performance as a driver, he is a worthy champion and had one of the best careers of all time.

    I was lucky enough to cover F1 for awhile and interacting with Seb in the media center, particularly one time we laughed and joked together, remains one of my favorite racing memories. I hope he has a wonderful retirement, I for one, can’t wait to see what he does next.

    1. It’s sad to see how many comments here are denigrating him either for his activism or his performance as a driver, he is a worthy champion and had one of the best careers of all time.

      Unfortunately, as in all sports, quite a few people get more than a little worked up about their driver of choice, and turn that zeal against other drivers who they feel have ‘denied’ their favourite the success they imagine said driver ‘deserves’. It’s one thing if it happens during a race or title battle, but a decade later? Seems a bit pointless.

      Whoever one’s favourites are, all F1 drivers are great racers. Even those who rarely score big points, and even guys like Latifi and Stroll who are mostly there to fund their teams are very skilled. Those rare drivers who win tens of races, and even manage to do so in various teams and in various regulatory settings – they’re the best of the best.

      Sure, Vettel might not have won all his title battles but which champion can say otherwise? Even Schumacher lost a few, so did Alonso, so did Hamilton. There’s nothing wrong with that. And as Rosberg and others have explained, racing F1 is not the same as fighting for a title in F1. It’s a year long commitment bordering on an obsession. To do so for almost a decade is the sign of a great competitor.

  48. I really hope Prima Donna Alonso would now follow Vettel’s example.

  49. Its sad to see Vettel go, although it was a logical and wise decision for him.
    I hope for the good of F1 that he remains in the sport in some other role.

    I wonder now if this will start the ball rolling in the driver market…

  50. RandomMallard
    28th July 2022, 18:13

    I wasn’t a huge fan of Vettel in the Ferrari years (the time I first got into F1). Of course I recognised he was an outstanding driver, I just wasn’t a fan and I don’t really know why. Since he’s moved to AM though, I’ve gained a lot of respect for him. He seems to have become a different person and much more open, and to me, much more likeable. I’m gonna miss him in F1.

  51. Beeing a father changes you. I can fully understand his reasons. You star thinking about what would happen to your kid(s) if something happened to you. Takes the will to risk your life for an extra tenth of a lap time right away from you.

  52. Sergey Martyn
    28th July 2022, 20:10

    Vaya con dios!
    All of his WDC’s belong to Newey.
    Multi 21 with Webber says a lot about him.

    1. Agree. Mediocre driver with poor wheel to wheel skills. Lucked into a very good car. Could only win when starting from the front row. Not impressed at all.

  53. The last race proves him right. Drivers like Lewis and Max would not be going life and death with Stroll instead they use to be 20 odd seconds up the road against far better guys in Bottas Perez. A good/great guy but in my opinion he has far better stats than he should. Swapping Alo and Vettel’s statistics would of been justified. You cant help but feel Max Lewis and Alonso would of absoloute walked 2017 2018 in the Ferrari. History has shown that Ferrari had 2 very weak benchmarks in there car

    1. I agree regarding vettel, and definitely 2018 was up for grabs for a consistent driver, but I feel 2017 would’ve been an almost impossible task for everyone, there was a significant performance\reliability advantage the driver had to make up for.

  54. Bet Aston is happy they should go for Gasly or try to sell the project to Lando

  55. Not many can claim to have won 3 world titles in the 2nd quickest car this man helped Lewis Maassively for 2/3 of them

    1. While I’m a big critic of vettel, I would say on average the 2018 cars were up there, so hamilton really made the difference there (not hard against one who keeps making mistakes), but in 2017 their performances were up there and mercedes was simply better.

  56. It’s a desperately sad reality that humans are more likely to remember people’s faults than their strengths.

    He won in a STR, dominated whole seasons in a RBR, drove superbly at FER but because of a handful of mistakes, that’s how he’s remembered.

    1. It is not simply due to having quite a few mistakes and weak seasons. What makes them so memorable is that they were absolutely the contrary of what you would expect from a multiple world champion.

    2. Well, I remember that ofc, monza 2008 was impressive and his 2015 season was also great with a not so good ferrari, but you need to deliver when you get the occasion, frentzen was a pretty good driver, but failed to deliver the one time he got a championship contender, 1997 and got destroyed by villeneuve, and after that never got a championship contending car again; I know vettel won with a significantly better car in the red bull era, but in 2018 with the best car anyone ever made in the hybrid era aside from merc, he made too many mistakes, which cost the title.

  57. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    28th July 2022, 21:52

    This is the perfect opportunity for Nico Hulkenberg to come back to his old team.

    1. I’m afraid that bird has flown.

  58. His retire tells me really two things. Aston Martin is a complete mess and isn’t worth being away from his family to race with them.

    Vettel was a great champion and delivered when he had a decent car underneath him. Hybrid era pretty much sealed his doom. But he can be satiric with his accomplishments.

    Have a lot more respect for him than Rosberg, hope he comes back as a F1 expert for insights will be happy to listen to him than Rosberg.

  59. Don’t understand how this became a discussion about how good drivers are and whom was better than whom. This is about a top driver retiring for moral reasons. He has become disillusioned with F1 due to his position on climate change and has decided to walk the walk, not just talk the talk like others do. RESPECT.

  60. Seb to be the next race director? I think he would be an amazing choice

    1. Wow, that would be bold!

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