Four-time F1 world champion Vettel announces his retirement
One of the greatest drivers in Formula One is saying farewell to the sport at the end of this season.
Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel has announced his retirement from Formula One. The 35-year-old German debuted on social media through Instagram and used the platform to reveal that the 2022 Formula One season will be his last.
Vettel is ending an illustrious 15-year career that resulted in four straight drivers' titles and 53 race wins, putting him third on the all-time list just behind 7-time world champions Michael Schumacher (91) and Lewis Hamilton (103).
He previously held the record for being the youngest-ever points scorer in Formula One after finishing 8th in his debut with BMW Sauber at the 2007 United States Grand Prix. In his first full season in the sport, Vettel scored his first pole position and race win in a rain-hit 2008 Italian Grand Prix. A stretch of successive wins followed soon after, as he was runner-up in 2009 before winning four straight titles with Red Bull Racing.
In 2015, Vettel followed the footsteps of his mentor Michael Schumacher and joined Ferrari, emerging as the closest challenger to the dominance of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in the turbo hybrid era. Ultimately, Vettel came up short in his attempts to score a fifth title with the Scuderia and joined Aston Martin in 2021. His two-year deal with the British brand is expiring at the end of this season, but no one expected this would be his last.
The announcement of his retirement came as a shock not just to the Formula One paddock but in the world of motorsport as well. Numerous teams, drivers, and other personalities paid tribute to the four-time world champion that was seen as a great example both on and off the track.
Vettel's 300th and final race is set to happen at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. This will make him only the sixth driver in Formula One to reach that milestone. In addition, he will bow out of the sport holding the record for being the youngest-ever driver's champion at only 23 years and 134 days old.