Fabian Vettel, Sebastian’s brother, has revealed that he was the one who had the idea to post a video message on Instagram announcing the retirement of the four-time Formula 1 world champion.
In recent years, the Aston Martin driver showed an increasingly strong interest in social and environmental causes, which is why he decided to open an Instagram page after being reluctant to do so for many years.
His first content will therefore have been this video explaining that he was retiring, and Fabian explaining how he had this idea for his big brother.
« It was a relatively spontaneous action. I was sure that such an announcement would affect many people emotionally, so I suggested Seb do it. In fact, it was a crazy idea. We didn’t expect not for it to take on such a proportion. »
« In the end, over 200,000 people saw this Instagram story. It came out of nowhere. Of course, that’s because Seb then shared it in his stories. »
A statement from the team would have been too distant
The video was posted in English and German: the English version was ‘liked’ by more than two million Instagram users, while the German version was liked more than one million times. Vettel thus reached more than two million followers in just a few days.
Fabian explains why it was important for Sebastian to address his many fans personally, rather than speaking to them via a press release that would have seemed distant.
« I probably would have done the same. It’s a very personal thing. That’s why I think doing it through an Instagram account, which was in demand for several years, was the right approach. »
« He spoke to the people who matter most: the fans. If it had been the team or a press release, he would have missed the personal touch. »
A charismatic driver who will be difficult to replace
The fact that Sebastian has refused to be part of social media so far proves the power of his personality according to Fabian.
« It shows that Seb is more than a racing driver. And I think it will be difficult for Formula 1 to replace drivers as charismatic as Seb, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. »
« I think my brother will leave a huge footprint when he leaves Formula 1. With all the fights he’s had recently, he’s taken a big step forward as a person. »
« Climate change and social issues are hugely important, and I think it’s an honor to be able to use your voice to address it. »