Four-time world champion driver Sebastian Vettel has announced his retirement from Formula One at the end of the 2022 season.
The end of this year marks the end of his contract with Aston Martin. There's been heavy speculation about his future in the racing world, and he confirmed his departure with a recent message on Instagram.
Vettel shared a lengthy and heartfelt explanation for his retirement in a video message on Thursday. Ultimately, the 35-year-old racing legend wants to spend more time with his family.
"Next to racing, I have grown a family who I love being around. I've grown other interests outside of Formula One," Vettel said. "My passion with racing and Formula One comes with lots of time spent away from them, and takes a lot of energy.
"Committing to my passion the way I did and the way I think it is right, does no longer go side by side with my wish to be a great father and husband. The energy it takes to become one with the car and the team, to chase perfection takes focus and commitment. My goals have shifted from winning races and fighting for championships to see my children grow, passing on my values, helping them up when they fall, listening to them when they need me.
"Not having to say goodbye, and most importantly, being able to learn from them and let them inspire me. Children are our future, further I feel there is so much to explore and learn about life and about myself.
"Speaking of the future, I feel we live in very decisive times. And how we all shape these next years will determine our lives. My passion comes with certain aspects that I have learned to dislike. They might be solved in the future, but the will to apply that change has to grow much, much stronger and has to be leading to action today.
"Talk is not enough and we cannot afford to wait. There is no alternative. The race is underway. My best race is still to come. I believe in moving forward and moving on. Time is a one way street and I want to go with the times.
"Looking back is only going to slow you down. I look forward to racing down unknown tracks and will be finding new challenges
"The marks I left on track will stay until time and rain will wash them away. New ones will be put down. Tomorrow belongs to those shaping today. The next corner is in good hands as the new generation has already turned in. I believe that there is still a race to win.
"Farewell, thanks for letting me share the track with you. I loved every bit of it."
Vettel won four straight titles with the Red Bull team from 2010-13 — making him the fourth most-successful driver in F1 history. He raced with Ferrari from 2015-21 before joining Aston Martin this past season.