Following on from his announcement prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix that he’d be retiring at the end of the season, Sebastian Vettel has reiterated that it’s his choice to retire and that it wasn’t influenced by actions taken by Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll.
Some interesting rumours began to circulate that Stroll had decided to drop Vettel for Fernando Alonso before his retirement had been announced, with the Canadian preferring the double World Champion over the four-time World Champion.
Vettel has revealed that not only is this incorrect, it also isn’t true that he’s decided to retire due to being called a “hypocrite” for competing in Formula 1 whilst supporting environmental change.
The German driver is more aware than anybody about the carbon footprint the sport leaves, especially with all the travelling that takes place throughout the season.
This footprint and the carbon emissions released by the championship will only increase next season, with the biggest calendar ever set to take place.
The Aston Martin driver argues that other sports travel around the world, and that actually he’s “satisfied” to walk away from the sport after making his “dreams come true”.
“Tennis players also travel a lot,” the German told Italy’s Autosprint.
“In general, we have to pursue our ambition because of our talents. And from that point of view, I am satisfied because I made my dreams come true.
“We drivers love to race, we want to take on a challenge. I would even have paid to be able to do what I do.”
It was widely speculated that the 35-year-old would sign a one-year contract extension with Aston Martin, despite the pair’s relationship having been very much unsuccessful.
The German is absolutely certain that he made the decision to retire, and that Lance Stroll’s father had “nothing to do with it”.
“I made the decision to stop on my own,” Vettel insisted.
“The team and Stroll had nothing to do with it.”
Vettel’s most successful period during his F1 career was, of course, his four-year Red Bull domination from 2010-2013, where he reigned imperiously in the Drivers’ Championship.
Some believe the 53-time GP winner should’ve added to his tally of four World Championships during his spell at Ferrari; however, all too familiar strategic errors plus some driving errors saw Vettel fall short on multiple occasions.
People wonder if Vettel made the right choice leaving Red Bull at the end of 2014, a year where the Austrians struggled to adjust to the new hybrid era.
The Aston Martin driver has no regrets about the decision he made to join the Maranello-based team, a time he recalls as “fantastic”.
“I had a fantastic period at Ferrari,” he insisted.
“I was close to the world title twice, but we failed.
“There are reasons why we didn’t win, but I’m calm about it. I spent a lot of time at Ferrari and I have a lot of respect for the team and for everyone there.”
With the German featuring commonly outside the points, the main reason for his retirement is to spend more time with his wife and three young children, with the 35-year-old keen on being there for his children to grow up.
How long he stays away from racing remains to be seen; however, Vettel will take part in the Race of Champions in January, an event he’s competed at what will be 11 times.
The legendary driver hasn’t decided what his future holds but wants to see “how long it takes” to “get bored”.
“I haven’t made a decision yet. I don’t know,” he admitted. “Time will tell.
“I want to see how long it takes before I get bored. Maybe it will be three months and I’ll be crying and want to come back. Or maybe I’ll like not being at the track anymore and just enjoy my family.”