Sebastian Vettel opens up on post-F1 retirement plans

Sebastian Vettel's current contract at Aston Martin expires at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season.

Sebastian Vettel has conceded that he does not know exactly what he will do once his career in Formula 1 is over, but maintains that he has “a lot of ideas.”

Vettel’s career began racing in the pinnacle of motorsport in 2007 when he deputised for the injured Robert Kubica at the BMW team at the United States Grand Prix, scoring points with an eighth-placed finish.

He has since made another 280 race starts with Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Ferrari and now Aston Martin.

The German took 34 wins with the Milton Keynes side between 2010 and 2013 as he secured four consecutive championships, but the arrival of the turbo hybrid era was not kind to Vettel in 2014, and he eventually moved on to Ferrari for the 2015 season.

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The now 34-year-old could not cultivate any championship success with the Scuderia, and he now finds himself fighting in the midfield with Aston Martin, whose owner Lawrence Stroll’s five-year championship plan looks incrementally ambitious the longer their poor form persists.

Vettel’s contract is up at the end of this season, and he has previously indicated that the key to extending the deal is good performances from the car, so the best finish of eighth at last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which also constituted the Silverstone side’s first points of the season, will likely be doing little to convince him to stay.

He maintains though, that there have been no developments regarding his future.

“I’m still active. My contract runs until the end of the year. A decision has not yet been made. It depends on how strong the car is, how the team develops and how the races go,” said Vettel.

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He describes the conundrum of what he will do after he hangs up the race suit an “issue,” but is not short of ideas.

“I don’t have to lie, my future is an issue that’s coming my way. And with which I deal. The truth is I have a lot of ideas, I talk to a lot of people and I’m easily inspired,” added the 34-year-old.

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With no emphasis on what comes later, Vettel’s focus remains very much on the here and now.

“But I’m not putting myself under any pressure to create the perfect subsequent career tomorrow. I don’t want to raise expectations of finding the perfect,” he explained.

“I’ve found something in Formula 1 that I’m very good at. Something where I can compete with the best in the world. What comes after that, time will tell.”

The 53-time race winner said in 2020 that he would carry on racing “for two more years,” but his mindset is different to what it was then.

“I am currently doing my job. I said two years ago I’ll be driving for two more years but I don’t think about life after every day now,” affirmed Vettel.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has recently gone on record to say that the team would be “foolish” not to try and renew Vettel’s contract for at least another year.