Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix was Sebastian Vettel’s last race at Monza as a Formula 1 driver, with the 35-year-old set to retire from the sport at the end of the season.
The ‘Temple of Speed’ will always hold a special place in the four-time World Champion’s heart, with Monza being the venue where he claimed his first F1 victory, back in 2008 with Scuderia Toro Rosso.
The Aston Martin driver may shed a tear on his final lap of the race, at the circuit, where he cemented his place as one of the brightest talents the championship has ever seen.
Despite it all, though, he doesn’t regret his decision to retire at the end of the season, with the German being “happy” with his choice.
Vettel wishes his career could’ve ended towards the front of the field, with the Aston Martin driver having struggled at the British team this season.
“I’m happy with the choice I made,” Vettel revealed.
“And obviously, you know, expected that we will be more competitive last year and this year, but we were not.
“And I’m very happy with the way the team has progressed and [how] we are working together.
“So obviously it’s not the dream sort of coming true, racing in the positions we are racing, but you know, it’s been a challenge and I think I’ve accepted it and tried to make the most of it,” ventured Vettel.
Whilst talking to reporters ahead of this weekend, Vettel discussed how he almost re-joined Red Bull following his Ferrari departure at the end of 2020.
The father of three won four consecutive titles with the Austrian side, from 2010-2013.
He remains Red Bull’s most decorated driver, something Max Verstappen will hotly contest by the time his stint at the Constructors’ leaders comes to an end.
The German driver revealed that some talks took place with Red Bull before deciding to join Aston Martin; however, a return to the Austrian’s was “never really close”.
“I made the decision to join Aston Martin before I think it was really in discussion that Alex is going to leave,” added Vettel.
“So it was never really close. But of course, I know, Christian, I know Helmut. So for sure. I had a, you know, sort of brief chat with them, but never really anything serious.
“And I also know and knew that if it was, would have been an option or series, we would have at least talked about it. But it never came to that point. So obviously, a couple of months later, you could look back and say if, and what if, and so on.”
Having been in the F1 paddock since 2007, Vettel is unsure how quickly he’ll want to return to the championship, or if he will want to make a comeback at all.
The Aston Martin driver isn’t “considering anything” for the time being but doesn’t rule out a return in the future in a non-racing role.
”I don’t know,” answered Vettel when asked if he’ll return to F1.
“At the moment, I’m not considering anything, because, you know, I’m stepping away. So, time will tell what will be something that is possible to do, if there is an offer of any such nature or not, and then I will see how I feel like at the moment.
“I’m quite happy to spend more time on other things and look forward to seeing the kids more and stuff like that. And then time will tell whether I get bored within three months or three years. I don’t know. So we will see,” added Vettel.