German driver for the Aston-Martin team Sebastian Vettel, four-time Formula 1 world champion, announced on Thursday that he would retire at the end of this season.
“The decision to stop F1 at the end of the year was difficult and I thought about it a lot. At the end of the year, I want to take the time to think about what I want to do next,” Vettel said in a statement from his team released ahead of the Hungarian GP this weekend.
“As a father, I want to spend more time with my family. Today is not about saying goodbye, but rather saying thank you to everyone, starting with the fans without whom Formula 1 could not exist,” he added.
Vettel, 35, won four world championship titles in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 with Red Bull.
Winner of 53 Grands Prix, he is second only to Briton Lewis Hamilton (103 victories) and his compatriot Michael Schumacher (91). After moving to Ferrari from 2015 to 2020, he joined Aston Martin in 2021 without winning any races there so far.
Vettel had failed during his time at Ferrari to offer the Italian team a new drivers' world title, which would have been the first since that of Finn Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.
Thanked by the Italian brand in rather stormy conditions when the Scuderia was at the bottom of the wave, Vettel had found refuge at Aston Martin, the team of Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll whose son, Lance, is currently his teammate.
After a difficult 2021 season that saw him only finish 12th in the championship, Vettel currently sits 14th in the provisional standings with just 15 points.
Sebastian Vettel in a nutshell
Date of birth: July 3, 1987
Place of birth: Heppenheim (Germany)
Height: 1.74 m
< p>2022 team: Aston Martin (Mercedes engine)
Race number: 5
Hills in F1:
Champion of the world 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
GP contested: 289
Teams: BMW-Sauber (August 2006-July 2007), Toro Rosso (August 2007-2008), Red Bull (2009-2014), Ferrari (2015-2020), Aston Martin (since 2021)
Grand Prix debut: Turkish GP in August 2006
Racing debut: United United 2007 (8th)
First win: Italy 2008
Last win: Singapore 2019
Podiums (wins included ): 122
Pole positions: 57
Fast laps: 38
Points scored: 3076
World Drivers' Championship standings: 1st (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), 2nd (2009, 2017, 2018), 3rd (2015), 4th (2016), 5th (2014, 2019), 8th (2008), 12th (2021), 13th (2020 ), 14th (2007, 2022, at 2 July 8)