Sebastian Vettel says Aston Martin ‘contributed’ to his decision to retire

Ahead of his imminent retirement, Sebastian Vettel currently sits third on the all-time list for the most wins in F1.

Time is almost up for Sebastian Vettel in Formula 1, with his saddening retirement from the sport now just two races away, as another season draws to a close.

A lot of the build-up to the upcoming races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi has been about the brilliant German, who will be missed by so many both in the paddock, and around the world.

He’s become one of the most likeable drivers on the grid over recent years, with his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton having specifically been a time when respect for the 35-year-old increased.

The four-time World Champion and 53-time GP winner will without a shadow of a doubt be leaving a huge hole in the sport, in regard to his personality, talent, and willingness to speak up when others have been afraid to.

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Everyone’s career does eventually come to an end, though, with Vettel believing that his time at Aston Martin as “contributed” to his decision to retire from the sport he made his debut in at the 2007 United States Grand Prix.

“In order to get answers to the open questions, this time at Aston Martin was important,” revealed Vettel to Der Spiegel magazine.

“However, the fact that I’m not currently sitting in a race car with which I can show what I’m actually capable of has also contributed to my retirement.”

Vettel could continue for a couple more years if he really wanted to; however, being in the midfield isn’t where he wants to spend his weekends.

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The German wants to return home to his wife and kids, whom he hails as his “priority”, with perhaps a quieter life in the pipeline for the former Red Bull driver.

“They are a priority to me, but on the other hand, I’m very consistent in my sport, and it’s become more difficult every year to do right by them – not just because there are more and more races per season,” said Vettel.

Previous retirements have shown that drivers tend to return to the paddock sooner rather than later, with the majority of pundits in the paddock being ex-drivers.

Vettel’s approach to retirement appears to be considerably different and seemingly more Kimi Raikkonen-esque, with Vettel “not sure” if he’ll even watch the sport next season.

“I don’t know,” he admitted.

“I haven’t made any plans yet. But I’m not sure I want to watch the race at all. Formula 1 was my purpose in life for 16 years.

“Now I secretly expect myself to be able to cope without Formula 1 – as if I were going through withdrawal.”

A career as a pundit isn’t something in the back of Vettel’s mind, despite the likes of fellow Germans Ralf Schumacher and somewhat Nico Rosberg having gone on to do just that.

Vettel wants to find “happiness” somewhere that isn’t travelling at speeds of over 200mph, with a “path of detachment” the current plan that the Aston Martin driver has.

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“If you enjoy doing something, you can hang on to it,” the German added.

“But I want to choose the path of detachment, distance myself and realise: There are enough other exciting things. I will manage to open the next door and find my happiness there.

“That’s why I’m definitely not going to stand in front of the camera at the first race as an expert with a microphone in my hand and give my two cents. My role models are people who have succeeded by simply diving down and taking the next step in life.”