‘Never my sole identity’: Sebastian Vettel opens up on his personal life

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel’s last race in Formula 1 will be in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

Sebastian Vettel has endured a real zero to hero reputation in Formula 1, with the driver being booed in his early career for being too dominant.

Now the German is one of the most loved figures in the sport’s history, with Vettel constantly smiling and trying to help others in any way possible, with former F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone claiming that Vettel just wants to help everyone and anyone no matter what it takes.

The 35-year-old will be retiring at the end of the season, despite fellow drivers such as Fernando Alonso racing into their 40’s.

The four-time world champion has admitted that his decision to retire was not an easy one to make, but in his original announcement he cited his reasons as wanting to spend more time with his family and focus his time on other projects that he is passionate about.

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“The decision to retire has been a difficult one for me to take, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about it,” he said.

“At the end of the year I want to take some more time to reflect on what I will focus on next – it is very clear to me that, being a father, I want to spend more time with my family.

“I love this sport. It has been central to my life since I can remember. But as much as there is life on track, there is my life off track too.

“Being a racing driver has never been my sole identity. I very much believe in identity by who we are and how we treat others rather than what we do.

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“My goals have shifted from winning races and fighting for championships to seeing my children grow, passing on my values, helping them up when they fall, listening to them when they need me, not having to say goodbye and, most importantly, being able to learn from them and let them inspire me.”

While the fans will clearly miss Vettel, who continues to inspire and motivate everyone with his relentless efforts to make the world a better place, his fellow drivers will also miss an important figure in the paddock.

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Former rival turned friend Lewis Hamilton has admitted that Vettel will be a big loss to the sport, labelling the pair’s relationship as unexpected.

“It is going to be sad to see him leave,” he told reporters.

“It has been an unexpected relationship and friendship. It is so difficult when you are so competitive and you are both fighting for something you are passionate about.”