Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel does not know what lies ahead of him after he retires at the end of this season, but his focus remains on finishing the year strongly.
The German won four world titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013 having won a race in 2008 with Rosso, and added four more race victories to that tally during his debut season with the Milton Keynes-based side in 2009.
He headed to Ferrari in the second year of the turbo-hybrid era and, despite 14 race wins with the Scuderia, a world championship never materialised.
It was onto Aston Martin last year for the 53-time race winner, and he achieved a podium finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, before being disqualified in Hungary after he finished second.
The British team have fallen a bit further back in 2022, and the 35-year-old has scored points five times in 13 races.
While his performances have been exceptional given the car he is in, he is not in a position to win races or indeed championships at this stage, so he is set to call time on his career.
Recently, Vettel’s focus has been on activism. He frequently campaigns for equality, representation, social justice and environmental awareness, and this is something he will no doubt continue after his career in the pinnacle of motorsport is done.
From a driving perspective, Vettel will not be a fixture next season, but many drivers have made it clear that he is a brilliant person to have in the paddock, with Valtteri Bottas suggesting that he would like to see him stick around in some capacity.
“I don’t know, time will tell,” said Vettel when asked about the prospect of him returning to F1 in a non-driving role.
“I’m obviously entering a different stage of my life, and I have so much experience, so many lessons that I learned about the sport, not just about driving, but the bigger picture about the sport.”
Were he to stay on in a different role, Vettel does not see himself doing so in a position that assumes authority over the drivers.
“It would be very easy to pick up certain roles and share that expertise,” he explained.
“And it depends on the seriousness, I’m certainly not thinking of being an expert running around and telling these guys what they’re doing wrong. I don’t see myself doing that.”
Fernando Alonso will be replacing Vettel for 2023, but there are no plans from the former Ferrari and Red Bull driver to take his foot off the gas in 2022.
“No, I want to finish the job that I set out doing,” affirmed Vettel.
With 53 wins and four world titles, Vettel will undoubtedly walk away from Formula 1 as a legend of the sport.