After winning four world championships with Red Bull and capturing the hearts of motorsport fans all over the world, Sebastian Vettel has called time on his Formula 1 career.
The 35-year-old’s point scoring performance on his final appearance in F1 in Abu Dhabi was unfortunately not enough to see Aston Martin leapfrog Alfa Romeo in the constructors’ championship, which would have been the perfect ending to Vettel’s career.
The German has rejected suggestions that he should take up a role as a reserve or test driver next season, claiming that his reasoning for retiring is because he would like to spend more time with his family and pursue his other interests.
Red Bull’s chief advisor Helmut Marko has told the media that the door will always be open for Vettel at Red Bull, should he wish to enter a post-racing role with the team in the future, an offer which Sky Sports pundit Karun Chandhok thinks would be a perfect one for Vettel.
“The perfect role for him is to take over as head of the Red Bull driver programme,” Chandhok said in an interview.
“Because he will be very good at mentoring the next generation of drivers on how to be professionals at the racetrack, but also have a consciousness about what’s happening in the wider world.
“But his legacy to me will always be that finger wagging championship winning success because, in that era, he was just brilliant, wasn’t he?”
Vettel has claimed the he would consider himself a failure if he ever returns to a role in Formula 1, as this means that he has not found success in pursuing his other interests after leaving the sport.
The 35-year-old has however left the door to a potential F1 return slightly ajar, admitting that he does not know how he will be feeling after one or two years away from the sport, potentially missing the adrenaline that comes with it.
Mick Schumacher has already benefitted from Vettel’s mentoring, as the pair struck up a strong bond where the 23-year-old learned a lot from his elder countryman, similar to how his father Michael Schumacher took a young Vettel under his wing over a decade ago.