Sebastian Vettel surprised the F1 public and revealed that he will retire after this season. Sebastian sent a message via social media. "The decision to retire has been a difficult one for me to take, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about it," Vettel said, as quoted by motorsport.
"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 1 could not exist."
Lawrence Stroll on Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin executive chairman and team owner Lawrence Stroll revealed that they wanted to have Vettel in the team next season as well, but that they respect his decision.
"I want to thank Sebastian from the bottom of my heart for the great work that he has done for Aston Martin over the past year and a half," he 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."