I hereby announce my retirement from F1 by the end of the 2022 season. Probably I should start with a long list of people to thank now, but I feel it is more important to explain the reasons behind my decision.
I love this sport. It has been central to my life since I can remember, but as much as there is life on track, there is my life off track too. Being a racing driver has never been my sole identity. I very much believe in identity: by who we are and how we treat others, rather than what we do.
Who am I? I am Sebastian. Father of three children and husband to a wonderful woman. I am curious and easily fascinated by passionate or skilled people. I am obsessed with perfection, I am tolerant and feel we all have the same rights to live, no matter what we look like, where we come from and who we love.
I love being outside. I love nature and its wonders, I am stubborn and impatient. I can be really annoying. I like to make people laugh, I like chocolate and the smell of fresh bread. My favourite colour is blue. I believe in change, and progress and that every little bit makes a difference. I am an optimist and I believe people are good.
Next to racing I have grown a family and I love being around them. I have grown other interests outside of F1. My passion for racing and F1 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 thought was 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 seeing 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 determines our lives.
My passion comes with certain aspects that I’ve 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 into action today. Talk is not enough and we cannot afford to wait. There is no alternative. The race is under way.
My best race? Still to come. I…