Austin, Mexico, Interlagos, Yas Marina…and the end. Sebastian Vettel is gradually approaching his last race in Formula 1. The German will retire at the end of the 2022 season. The four-time world champion will leave the paddock after a long and successful 15-year career . A few Grands Prix from the end of his adventure in the premier category, Vettel carried out an introspection on his career and on his feelings vis-à-vis his journey in Formula 1.
Philosopher, mellowed by time and experience, Sebastian Vettel explained what F1 was able to offer him as a driver and as a man. “People can decide if they want to remember me, but I wouldn’t be offended if they didn’t.says the four-time German world champion. There are many lessons in life and it’s up to you if you choose to learn from them. Being a Formula 1 driver is an accelerated way of life. I think that’s true for most professional athletes. You have everything that happens in normal life, but it’s more compressed in terms of time. I must have matured earlier than my friends at school because I took my racing career very seriously and dealt with a lot of adults. »
Vettel’s biggest opponent? “Lewis Hamilton has always been up there”
In 15 years of Formula 1, Sebastian Vettel has won everything: 4 times world champion, 53 victories with 3 different teams (Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari) and several records to his credit, in particular for precociousness. Placed among the legends of motorsport, the German specifies that he has not lost the flame of driving, despite lackluster seasons since 2019. “I still love sports. I still love racing. The decision to retire was difficult, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while. I know how much this sport requires commitment and I feel like it’s a good time to do something else. »
Going back over the course of his F1 career, the Aston Martin driver also revealed his biggest rivals in the race. “Lewis [Hamilton], especially when I was at Ferrari. Lewis has always been up there. Before that it was probably Fernando [Alonso] when he was at Ferrari, said Sebastian Vettel. The Spaniard will also replace the German in 2023. The latter believes that the current Alpine driver does not need advice to adapt to Aston Martin. « He’s been here so long and seen so much, everything will be fine. »
« I want to say thank you to so many people who have made my racing career »
Arrived in 2021 within the British team, at the start of a vast project to play the leading roles by 2026, the native of Heppenheim will not have found the expected success. “I don’t think those two years were wasted, although the results and the points we scored weren’t what we hoped for. I loved working with the team, getting to know different people and different approaches. These two years were very difficult because I was not used to racing at the back of the peloton. It was a new experience, sometimes difficult, and I realized a lot. »
Author of a single podium in the last two seasons (Baku in 2021), Sebastian Vettel hopes to experience a more glorious jubilee for his last four races in F1. Four last Grands Prix on which fans, spectators and actors of Formula 1 will not fail to pay tribute to him. “It’s funny, a lot of people say thank you to me, but I want to thank them more. If I did what I did and no one was watching – no people in the stands, no emotions from outside – it wouldn’t mean anything. I want to say thank you to so many people who have made my racing career, my life, what it is. »
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