Four-time world champion Vettel announced his decision to stop racing in F1 via a video posted on Instagram early on Thursday, having informed the Aston Martin management on Wednesday.
The German noted that thinking about his future has been a distraction in recent weeks, and that having made the call to stop he can approach the remaining races of the season in a more relaxed mood.
Asked if having made the call to stop he might be lacking motivation for the remaining races of the 2022 season, Vettel suggested that in contrast he is now more relaxed.
“I don’t see that I will have a problem to motivate myself for the next 10 races. I feel a little bit the opposite,” he said.
“I feel that obviously this decision has been in my head for so long now, and has taken so much energy to be honest, and maybe even at times distracted me a little bit, that I’m quite relieved and looking forward to the next races. So it’s maybe more the opposite.”
Vettel explained that while he still loves motor racing, “voices” in the form of his family and interests outside the sport played a part in the decision.
“Well, the timeline takes us years back,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com to explain how and when he made the choice to stop.
“So it’s not a decision I took overnight. Obviously, the final decision was taken yesterday, by telling the team that I’m going to stop and not going to continue. But there was a lot of thought leading into this.
“So yeah, I think it’s the right time for me to do other things. Obviously, I know how much dedication goes into this. And if you do this, I’m convinced you have to do it the right way. I don’t get much pleasure and motivation from being here and just being part of it.”
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
Vettel stressed that while Aston Martin does not have a competitive car at the moment, he values the team itself highly, and believes that it can make progress.
“The aim has always been to win and compete at the front,” he said. “I think I’ve been very privileged to have had so many great cars and teams in the past that I was able to achieve so many things.
“I think in terms of greatness, this team doesn’t fall short of any of them, compared to any of the ones before, but obviously, our package wasn’t as strong as we would have loved it to be.
“So we didn’t race for front positions. But in terms of effort, team spirit, quality, I think there’s all the right…