There are still three Grands Prix to go for Sebastian Vettel before leaving Formula 1, he who has been in great shape lately and who shines with Aston Martin F1.
And if the quadruple world champion has not played the leading roles for a few years, he was once the man to beat when he dominated the discipline with Red Bull, as is the case with Max Verstappen currently.
If Vettel decided to leave the discipline at 35, it is because he has the desire to live other experiences in his life. Does he see the Dutchman opting for a similar choice when he too is a bit older?
« First of all, I think everyone is different. We all live our lives and it’s part of our evolution. Turning 30 changes some things, that’s for sure. I’m a father of three children, which is not not the case with many drivers on the grid. It changes your outlook in life, so what you decide to do has an impact on who you are. »
« I still think I’m the same person I was ten or fifteen years ago, but for sure I’ve changed in that I’ve learned a lot, met a lot of people, and then you start to see things differently. I have no regrets looking back. I’m happy for the opportunity I was given to race in Formula 1 at the highest level, to travel around the world, to visit many places, I realized it was a privilege and not a guarantee. »
« And maybe I have a talent for that. But if I was born somewhere else, maybe I never would have known. Everyone is free to do what they want and especially at a young age, when you are more focused on yourself and your ambitions. But I think life is teaching you a lot of lessons and I look forward to having more time to learn in the future. But I repeat, everyone is different. »
In 2013, Vettel won 13 races in the season and thus equaled Michael Schumacher’s record set in 2004. Verstappen himself reached this mark this year and could therefore become the first driver to sign at least 14 successes in a single exercise, which Vettel does not doubt.
« It was a long time ago and the season was already over when I won my 13th victory. Max is of course in a different position as the year is not over yet. I’m sure he’s looking forward to racing and to do his best. He has a very good team, a very good car and therefore a real possibility of winning in the next three races. »
Brilliant at Suzuka, imperial at Austin… Vettel impresses but he repeats it: he has no regrets about retiring from F1 at the end of the year.
« No, I thought long and hard about this decision. Of course I enjoyed the last two races, maybe more than I did in the middle of the season, but that doesn’t change anything. I had great races which I really enjoyed, and others where I wish the checkered flag had been waved after just five laps, so you always have to have the motivation and hang in there, even though I wish I hadn’t known so much ups and downs. »