Sebastian Vettel will retire from F1 at the end of the season
Oh. My. God. Sebastian Vettel has sent shockwaves through F1 by announcing that he will retire from the sport at the end the season when his contract with Aston Martin ends.
Ahead of the French GP last week the 35-year-old had said “there’s a clear intention to keep going” when asked about his future with the team, but instead he’s chosen to call time on his record-breaking career.
"I have had the privilege of working with many fantastic people in Formula One over the past 15 years - there are far too many to mention and thank,” said Seb in a statement.
"Over the past two years I have been an Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One™ 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.
"The 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; 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 One could not exist."
Wow. It goes without saying that Vettel is one of the most successful drivers ever to race in F1, becoming its youngest ever world champion at the age of 23 in 2010, kickstarting a run of four world titles in a row with Red Bull.