Sebastian Vettel receives prestigious award

After 299 Grand Prix starts, Sebastian Vettel retired from Formula 1 following the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Autosport awards evening provides an opportunity for drivers from all series and categories of racing to have their achievements recognised.

A panel of experts and votes from fans work together to decide the winner of each award, such as the Rally Driver of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Motorsport Promoter of the Year.

The 2022 edition of the awards saw the recently retired Sebastian Vettel win the Gregor Grant Award, which recognises lifetime achievement in motorsport, with the German being present to collect his award in person.

The 35-year-old won four consecutive world championships during his time with Red Bull, before moving on to Ferrari and Aston Martin and calling time on his career at the end of the 2022 season.

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Vettel was visibly honoured by the award, but delivered bad news for F1 fans, as he reinforced his desire to stay away from the sport following his retirement.

“I am not sure what’s next for me, but I’m very excited about it,” claimed Vettel.

“It’s not that I hate Formula 1, I enjoyed the last couple of races, after the announcement it was a big weight off my shoulders because this sport has been in my head and I’m very much looking forward to giving the time that I got when I was that age [to my children].

“My parents made so much time for me and I want to be there as well.”

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The German was asked what he would miss about racing in Formula 1, to which he gave a surprising but well thought out answer.

“What I love so much – initially I didn’t get it because you’re young, but I think the opportunity to work with so many people that are very passionate about what they do,” explained Vettel.

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“I thought 10 years ago, ‘That’s normal, it’s how everybody lives their lives’. But then I found out it’s not normal and a lot of people don’t have that privilege.

“You have so much motivation from the inside of you coming out and to meet so many skilled men and women along the way and have fun. There’s so much that I took from these years.”

While Vettel has claimed that he has no plans to return to Formula 1, many pundits and ex-drivers have suggested that the pull of the sport will be too strong for the German to resist, proposing the idea that a role in management could be on the cards for Vettel, after a couple of years away from F1.