Aston Martin “made it clear” they wanted Sebastian Vettel to stay with the team next season, but ultimately respect his decision to retire.
Vettel, fresh from creating an Instagram account, used his very first post on the platform to announce his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 campaign.
The four-time World Champion, whose F1 career started back in 2007 at the USA Grand Prix, was believed to be taking the summer break to ponder his future in the sport but, ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, the former BMW, Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari driver has made his mind up.
However, that was not without current team Aston Martin trying all they could to stay with the team for at least another season.
Sebastian, you have inspired so many throughout your career, both in #F1 and beyond.
We’re proud to call you a teammate, a friend and to have been part of your journey, just as you have been part of ours. 💚 pic.twitter.com/PMKkn3uoF4
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) July 28, 2022
“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,” Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll upon confirmation of Vettel’s retirement.
“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 1, 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 team principal, Mike Krack, added that Vettel’s knowledge and experience will help the team in future seasons and they will be forever grateful for the impact he has had on the team.
“Sebastian is a superb driver – fast, intelligent and strategic – and of course we are going to miss those qualities,” Krack said.
“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.
“Aston Martin is a great project, with unlimited potential, and the groundwork that Sebastian has done last year,…