This is why Sebastian Vettel ‘changed completely’

Sebastian Vettel has retired from Formula 1 at the age of 35, after winning four world championships with Red Bull in his early career.

The Formula 1 world was essentially sent into a period of mourning over the summer break, as fan favourite driver and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel announced that the 2022 season would be his last in the sport.

The German finished the season with a flurry of ‘Driver of the Day’ performances and a Q3 appearance in his final ever race in Formula 1, and despite pleas to reconsider his retirement, Vettel bowed out of F1 after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 35-year-old claimed that his decision was motivated by his desire to spend more time with his children, as the ever-expanding F1 calendar forces drivers to spend extended periods of time away from their families as they travel all around the world.

Sky Sport’s pundit Natalie Pinkham has suggested that fatherhood changed Vettel significantly, with his first child being born back in 2014, when discussing the German’s career with former F1 champion Damon Hill.

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“I don’t know about you Damon, but I’ve seen over the last 12 years being in the sport a real change in him,” suggested Pinkham.

“But I really pin it on him becoming a father. He changed completely when he became a dad, he started to care more about the world around him.

“The way he interacted with people, he wasn’t quite as ruthless as he had been in the past. It wasn’t all about winning. He was seeing the bigger picture. He’s just a genuinely lovely bloke who wants to make a difference in the world.”

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Vettel has admitted that should he ever make an unlikely return to Formula 1, he will consider himself a failure as it means that he has been unsuccessful in the other ventures that he wishes to embark upon following the end of his racing career.

The German is one of the most loved and respected figures in the sport, and this was made evident during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix week, as Lewis Hamilton treated the entire grid to a meal to celebrate the career of his former rival.

Almost the entire paddock then joined Vettel on his final ever track walk, donning matching t-shirts in honour of the retiring Aston Martin driver, meaning that if the German did not realise how much he will missed in Formula 1, he certainly does now.