Vettel concedes he is scared about F1 retirement

Michelle Foster
Sebastian Vettel with his helmet perched on his head. Monaco May 2022

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel with his helmet perched on his head. Monaco May 2022

Sebastian Vettel admits he is afraid to hang up his helmet and face the uncertainty of what comes next in his life.

Vettel has been a Formula 1 driver since 2007 when he made his debut in a one-off race with BMW-Sauber, finishing eighth at the United States Grand Prix.

Signed by Red Bull to their Toro Rosso team, he returned to the grid later that same season and has been a full-time Formula 1 driver ever since with stints at Red Bull, Ferrari and now Aston Martin.

With four Drivers’ Championship titles, 53 grands prix wins and 57 pole positions, he is one of the most successful drivers to have ever raced in the sport.

But now his career is nearing its end.

Dropped by Ferrari after the 2020 season, there was speculation that Vettel would call it quits then and there rather than drop down the grid.

However, he surprised many when the father of three instead signed with Aston Martin, putting pen to paper on a two-year deal.

But with that failing to provide the success he had wished for, Vettel’s future is once again in question.

Quitting racing, though, isn’t that easy.

Sebastian Vettel walking back in after finishing eighth in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Imola April 2022.

“Yes,” the 34-year-old said, quoted by PA news agency at the launch of ‘IL PITSTOP’, said when asked if he was scared to retire.

“I have done motor racing for my whole life and it gives you security, in terms of the schedule being made by other people.

“I don’t know what life after Formula 1 looks like and I don’t think any sportsperson knows what the next life looks like. You can have certain things lined up but you don’t know and that is the truth.

“I don’t expect to find something tomorrow which I am really good at because I have found something in my life that I am really good at and it is hard to find that again. How many times can you win the lottery?

“I enjoy driving the car but there are other things I don’t like. After so many years the usual stuff comes up that you don’t understand at the beginning, like the travel. It is very time consuming and I have kids at home and a family so it equals time away from them.

“The future depends on this year and the races that I have coming up. I have not decided yet. The summer is the usual time when you start to talk so we will see.”

Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack has made it known that he is keen to retain the German’s services but with just five points on the board, Vettel may yet decide enough is enough.

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