Sebastian Vettel announced earlier today that he will be retiring from F1 at the end of the 2022 season after 15 remarkable years of racing in the sport. Fans have taken to the internet to pay tribute to the four-time world champion.
The German shocked everyone by creating an Instagram account today and took it up another notch when he used the platform to share the news himself. His first post was a video, where he said:
“I hereby announce my retirement from F1 by the end of the 2022 season. Probably I should start with a long list of people to thank now but I feel is 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. Who am I? I’m Sebastian, father of three children and husband to a wonderful woman. I am curious and easily fascinated by passionate or skilled people.”
For all that he has contributed to the sport, Sebastian Vettel is one of the most celebrated drivers in F1. Having raced for five teams over the course of his career, the 35-year-old is on track to have his 300th race at the season finale in Abu Dhabi in November.
Here are some Twitter reactions to Sebastian Vettel's retirement announcement
Aston Martin thank Sebastian Vettel for his contributions to the team
After sharing the news of Sebastian Vettel's departure from Aston Martin and F1 at the end of the season, the team shared their appreciation for all the work he has done in his time with the team.
As reported by F1.com, Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll revealed that Vettel's "experience and expertise" has been an invaluable asset to the team. He said:
“I want to thank Sebastian from the bottom of my heart for the great work that he has done for Aston Martin over the past year and a half. 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. He is one of the all-time greats of Formula 1, and it has been a privilege to have been able to work with him.”
Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack added, saying:
“Sebastian is a superb driver – fast, intelligent, and strategic – and of course, we are going to miss those qualities. However, we have all learned from him, and the knowledge that we have gained from working with him will continue to benefit our team long after his departure. Aston Martin is a great project, with unlimited potential, and the groundwork that Sebastian has done last year, and is still doing this year, is crucial. When we become fully competitive – and we will – one of the architects of that future success will be Sebastian, and we will always be grateful to him for that.”
Sebastian Vettel joined Aston Martin at the start of the 2021 season and gave the team their first podium result in the sixth round of the season at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.