Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel did not want his team to find out “from the press” that he had made the decision to retire, which is why he told them the night before his announcement.
The four-time world champion sent Formula 1 fans into a frenzy when he finally caved and made a social media account by joining Instagram.
This excitement was soon followed by despair as he announced that he will be leaving the pinnacle of motorsport at the end of this year.
Vettel had let his team know the night before he told the world of his decision to leave, and he gathered everyone around the Aston Martin garage on Thursday morning to explain his thought process.
Auto Motor und Sport report that the 35-year-old has “carried these decisions with him for a long time,” and that part of the reason for his continuance in the pinnacle of motorsport was his wife.
Despite spending a lot of time away from his family, Vettel was urged by Hanna Prater, who he married in 2019, to carry on doing what he loves – racing.
Sporting director of the Silverstone-based side, Andy Stevenson, revealed that Vettel’s speech to the team sparked some emotional reactions from even the toughest among them.
“It was a very emotional speech, everyone felt that it came from the heart and that nothing was played,” he said.
“There were a few tears, even from experienced men.”
After some years of deliberating, the 53-time race winner is now certain that the time is right to move away from the sport he has loves for many years.
“It’s the right time to do something else, even if I don’t yet know what the other thing looks like,” explained Vettel.
He also has a support bubble around him for when, or if, withdrawal from racing starts to sink in.
“It’s possible that I’ll fall into the famous black hole fall, but I have enough friends who will help me out of this if it comes to that,” affirmed Vettel.
It is not yet known who is first in line to replace Vettel, but he has reportedly told the team that he would like his friend and Haas driver Mick Schumacher to be considered.