Sebastian Vettel to retire from F1 at end of season | World News

Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel will retire at the end of the current season.

The driver, 35, will see out the remaining races with current team Aston Martin before stepping away.

Vettel is one of the most successful drivers in the sport’s history, having won four consecutive championships in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 – all with Red Bull.

He has also driven for Ferrari during his career, which started in 2007.

The German has won 53 races, third in the all-time rankings behind Michael Schumacher on 91, and Britain’s Sir Lewis Hamilton with 103.

In a statement, Vettel said: “I have had the privilege of working with many fantastic people in Formula One over the past 15 years – there are far too many to mention and thank.”

He added: “The decision to retire has been a difficult one for me to take, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about it; at the end of the year I want to take some more time to reflect on what I will focus on next; it is very clear to me that, being a father, I want to spend more time with my family.

“But today is not about saying goodbye.

“Rather, it is about saying thank you – to everyone – not least to the fans, without whose passionate support Formula One could not exist.”

Lawrence Stroll, the executive chairman for the Aston Martin F1 team, said: “We made it clear to him that we wanted him to continue with us next year, but in the end he has done what he feels is right for himself and his family, and of course we respect that.

“He has driven some fantastic races for us, and, behind the scenes, his experience and expertise with our engineers have been extremely valuable. He is one of the all-time greats of Formula One, and it has been a privilege to have been able to work with him.

“He will continue to race for us up to and including the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which will be his 300th Grand Prix entry. We will give him a fabulous send-off.”

Aston Martin’s team principal, Mike Krack, said: “Sebastian is a superb driver – fast, intelligent and strategic – and of course we are going to miss those qualities. However, we have all learned from him, and the knowledge that we have gained from working with him will continue to benefit our team long after his departure.”

He added: “When we become fully competitive – and we will – one of the architects of that future success will be Sebastian, and we will always be grateful to him for that.”

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