Sebastian Vettel is so self-critical about his resignation

( – “The truth is, of course, that I’m no longer at the front.” Sebastian Vettel does not hide that he might not have quit now if he was still fighting for the world championship in Formula 1. But the real reasons for abandoning his career at the end of the 2022 season are different.

Sebastian Vettel reflects self-critically on the reasons for his resignation


It no longer helps him “to convince me that there is nothing greater than setting up a Formula 1 racing car correctly,” says Vettel in an interview with the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit”. Therefore, it is difficult for him, as someone who has already won four world titles, to motivate himself for results like 2022.

As a reminder, Vettel’s best results so far in 14 races have been a sixth and two eighths. This is largely due to Aston Martin, as Vettel has four times as many points as teammate Lance Stroll. But of course self-doubt sets in at some point.

“I became aware of that two years ago,” admits the 35-year-old. “When things didn’t go well here at Aston Martin, I asked myself: Can I still do my job? You don’t talk about that as a professional, it seems somehow frowned upon. But if it was like that? Personal weakness and thoughts whether it belongs only to achievement and also to success.”

Why the Aston years were also quite positive

“At least for this realization, the past two years have been worth their weight in gold for me. But it started when my children were born, I just didn’t reflect on it that way at the time. I don’t mean it negatively at all, but since then a part of my life no longer belonged to myself, but to my children.”

Vettel has two daughters, born in 2014 and 2015, and a son who was born in 2019. He has not won a world championship since becoming a father. It would be wrong to construct a causal relationship from this; but Vettel admits he has found it harder to push his limits since having children.

“But that doesn’t mean I want to be some kind of helicopter father in the future. I don’t have to look after my children every minute, and that shouldn’t be my only mission in life,” he says. “But I feel the desire as a father to do everything in the sense that the children grow into a better version of both of us. Of my wife and of me.”

Vettel: One who reflects self-critically

Hagen from 2022 also stands out because he looks critically at himself. When critics of his commitment to climate and environmental protection accuse him of being a hypocrite, he openly admits it. And when he is asked in an interview whether he would have continued if he had received an offer from a top team, he answers with astonishing honesty.

“I asked myself the same question. I can’t give you a 100 percent answer because there wasn’t an option,” admits Vettel. “After all the doubt I felt, the realization that it’s okay to stop was more important to me.” Even though he admits: “Of course it would be a big thing to retire as champion at the top.”

Summer 2020: How specific was it with Red Bull?

Vettel probably had what might be the last opportunity to be part of an absolute top team in July 2020 when ‘’ reported a return to Red Bull. A statement that was strongly rejected at the time, but which has since been confirmed by team manager Christian Horner.

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Vettel himself now says, when asked about it by ‘’, that the talks “never got really serious”, but: “I know Christian, I know Helmut (Marko, Red Bull Motorsport consultant; note from d. . Ed.) Of course I spoke to them and we had a short conversation about it.”

However, it did not reach the point where concrete negotiations took place. And Vettel decided differently then. Instead of hoping that Red Bull would fire Alexander Albon, he signed with Aston Martin. “In hindsight you can of course always ask yourself what if. But I’m fine with the decision,” says Vettel.

“We expected to be more competitive last year and this year, but we weren’t. I’m happy with how the team is developing and how we’re working together. Of course, racing in those positions is not exactly my dream, but it’s a challenge , which I have accepted and embraced.”

Question from Tom Clarkson: Will Vettel become a Red Bull adviser?

But the contract with Aston Martin will end soon, and then Vettel will be a “free agent” again. He has ruled out a job as a TV pundit, but not that he could remain connected to Formula 1 in any way. Perhaps as an adviser to Red Bull? “I don’t know,” he declines. “Now I want to stop and not think about such things.”

“Should such an offer arise, I will consider whether it appeals to me or not. I will look at that,” says Vettel. “First of all, I’m looking forward to having more time for other things and seeing my children more often. Then we’ll see if I start to get bored after three months or three years.”

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