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4-Time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel to Retire After 2022 Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 28, 2022

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel announced Thursday he's retiring from Formula One following the 2022 season.

The four-time F1 champion explained he's eager to begin turning his focus more toward his family and pursuits outside of racing once his career ends.

"Next to racing, I have grown a family who I love being around. I've grown other interests outside of Formula One," the 35-year-old said. "... My goals have shifted from winning races and fighting for championships to see my children grow, passing on my values, helping them up when they fall, listening to them when they need me."

Lewis Hamilton and Mick Schumacher reacted to the news:

Lewis Hamilton @LewisHamilton

Seb, it’s been an honour to call you a competitor and an ever greater honour to call you my friend. Leaving this sport better than you found it is always the goal. I have no doubt that whatever comes next for you will be exciting, meaningful, and rewarding. Love you, man. <a href="https://t.co/eHVmOpov2m">pic.twitter.com/eHVmOpov2m</a>

Mick Schumacher @SchumacherMick

I’m so sad that you’re leaving, but at the same time excited for you and this new chapter of your life. You’ve been and still are such an important person to me and I’m thankful for our friendship. <a href="https://t.co/1iFmlxxgyQ">pic.twitter.com/1iFmlxxgyQ</a>

Vettel's contract with Aston Martin expires at the end of the year. In his second season with the team, he's 14th in the driver standings, and Aston Martin is ninth in the constructor standings.

Thursday's announcement is a significant change from the tone he struck ahead of the French Grand Prix, when he indicated a return to Aston Martin was a possibility.

"I am talking to the team," Vettel said on July 21. "There is a clear intention to keep going. We'll soon see where we stand."

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll praised the contributions of Vettel to date.

"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," he said. "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."

Assuming his performances continue along their current trajectory, this will be a nondescript finish to a legendary career.

Formula 1 @F1

Thank you for the memories 🤩<br><br>Seb will leave the sport as a four-time world champion 🙌<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThankYouSeb?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThankYouSeb</a> <a href="https://t.co/cJTIeyLgJA">pic.twitter.com/cJTIeyLgJA</a>

Vettel was one of the most consistent drivers in F1 across the 2010s. His four titles, which came in successive years with Red Bull starting in 2010, are tied for fourth all-time with Alain Prost. His 53 Grand Prix wins are the third-most ever as well, trailing only Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.

A fifth championship proved elusive for Vettel during his time with Ferrari. He was the runner-up to Hamilton in 2017 and 2018.

Still, the German's achievements speak for themselves.

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