Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has announced his retirement from Formula One at the end of the season, saying his goals have changed and he wants to focus more on family and interests outside the sport.
The 35-year-old German, who drives for the Aston Martin team, won his titles with Red Bull from 2010-13 and also spent six seasons with Ferrari.
He made the announcement on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the 13th round of the season and last race before the August break.
His last race victory came with Ferrari in 2019. This season, he has been largely unsuccessful with a best finish of sixth place.
“I hereby announce my retirement from Formula One by the end of the 2022 season,” he said in a video statement explaining his reasons on a newly created Instagram page.
“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’s my life off track too. Being a racing driver has never been my sole identity.
“Next to racing I have grown a family and I love being around them. I have grown other interests outside Formula One,” he explained.
‘Goals have shifted’
Vettel, who has become increasingly outspoken on a range of topics, said Formula One was increasingly in conflict with his personal life.
“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,” he said.
“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’ve learned to dislike.”
Vettel said in May that climate change made him question his job as a racing driver.