Four-time Champion Sebastian Vettel calls it a day!

We are just one race away from summer break In Formula One 2022 Season, with Max Verstappen leading the WDC battle and Charles Leclerc 63 points behind him in P2. The races are getting interesting, and Ferrari keeps their fans guessing how they might screw up in the next race. Despite all this, Sebastian Vettel shocks his fans by opening a new Instagram account and announcing his retirement there. He will not continue beyond the current season.

Image Credits: ESPN

Sebastian Vettel, one of my favourite racers in Formula One, will not continue as an F1 driver beyond 2022 as his contract with Aston Martin expires at the end of this year. The German was once known for his brutality and brilliance on the track back in his RedBull days from 2010 to 2013. Those four years was a golden period for F1 fans, RedBull and Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel’s Career and Some Controversies on the Track:

He debuted in Formula One with BMW Sauber in the 2007 United States GP and finished that race in P8. At that time, he was the youngest driver to score a point in Formula One. But it was in 2009 when he joined RedBull, and in that year, he was a championship runner-up. It was in 2010 when Sebastian Vettel and his then teammate, Mark Webber, got home RedBull’s maiden Formula One World Constructor’s Championship with Sebastian Vettel winning the World Championship that season. He was also the world’s youngest F1 Champion back then, and it was the third time in Formula One’s history that he topped the charts in the last race, following John Surtees in the 1964 season James Hunt in 1976.

In 2011, RedBull and Sebastian Vettel were just untouchable throughout the season, something similar that we’re seeing now with Max Verstappen and RedBull in the current season. His performance in that season with 15 poles, 11 victories and 17 podiums out of 19 races can be verified.

Fast forward to 2012; this season will be remembered as the best season in Formula One in the last ten years. It was “THE MOST DRAMATIC FORMULA ONE SEASON” “ever. It was because that was also the last time we saw one of the Veteran Drivers – Fernando Alonso, at his peak. This season, Vettel and Alonso took the title fight to the final lap of the last race – The Brazilian Grand Prix. But that was just at the end of that season. This was because we as fans got to see a four-way Formula One title fight between Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton. In the initial ten races out of 20, Vettel barely managed to win one and only one race.

The winners and title fight kept shifting between Raikkonen, Alonso and Hamilton. Post the summer break, Vettel won four consecutive races in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and India and made his way back up the charts. That was all he needed to get back into the title fight with Alonso, who was putting solid performances for Ferrari (Yeah, unbelievable) and managed to take it to the last lap of the Brazilian GP. Sebastian Vettel won the World Driver’s Championship by a margin of just three points.

Following his victory at the Brazilian GP in 2012 was also a complaint from Ferrari that Vettel overtook Jean-Eric Vergne under a yellow flag condition early in the race. His title was under threat. Ferrari contacted the FIA in writing to seek clarification on the subject. The FIA investigated the incident and determined that Vettel’s pass was legal because a marshal near the pit exit was waving a green flag, signalling that the track was green moving forward. The confusion arose from a digital board that displayed a yellow flag on the Curva do Sol exit about 100 metres before the marshalling post. The decision preserved Vettel’s championship as both Ferrari and Red Bull Racing expressed their satisfaction with it.

In 2013, Sebastian Vettel became untouchable again, showing his sheer driving skills and dominating the season, especially in the last nine races of the season. But during the Malaysian GP of 2013, an unusual event occurred. Sebastian Vettel started the race from the pole, but Webber soon took the lead in the race, with Vettel at P2. Vettel wanted to win, but it was team orders time for him. He was clearly told by his engineer to hold the position at P2 (Multi 21). Vettel clearly had more pace in the race, and he decided to go for the win. With 13 laps remaining, he decided to ditch the team orders and attacked Webber, and then went on to win the Malaysian GP. This event went on to be known as the famous “ulti 21’’Meltdown. 

He set the record for the most consecutive races won by any driver. He then went on to win the WDC title at the Indian GP. We also bring you a tangy fact. India hosted three F1 world Championships from 2011 to 2013, and Sebastian Vettel won all three.

Image Credits: motorsports.com

Then came the 2014 Turbo-Hybrid era, where the entire era was dominated by Mercedes Petronas AMG. Vettel stayed in RedBull till 2014 and then decided to move on. He signed a contract with Ferrari and started his stint with the Prancing Horse in 2015. He put on impressive performances for the Italian team. But it just wasn’t enough to match the pace of the Silver Arrows. Despite that, he was a threat to both Hamilton and Rosberg.

Come 2017 was the time when Sebastian Vettel had the chance to chase his fifth World Driver’s Championship. In the initial stages, Vettel won six races and was a constant threat to the Silver Arrows. This was when the fans even hoped for a Ferrari comeback under both Vettel and Raikkonen. But, in the second half of the season, it looked like Vettel was just not into it. He wasn’t able to replicate his performances of the former half of the season and ended the season in disappointment.

Come 2018, the title fight for that year was dubbed “Fight for Five” “by the media. Both Hamilton and Vettel had four championships each under their belts. Vettel started the season in solid form, winning the season opener in Australia. That was his 100th podium. At the Canadian GP in 2018, Sebastian Vettel won the race, which was his 50th career victory. He was the fourth driver in Formula One’s history to achieve those feet. But Vettel made many mistakes throughout the season, which cost him the title.

Image Credits: motorsports.com

2019 and 2020 were the most painful seasons for Vettel at Ferrari. There was a change of Team Principal, the car was inferior as compared to the previous years. We even saw frequent errors made by the Ferrari pit crew. They really couldn’t keep their heads together when it came to team strategy. They were even losing time changing tyres. Although Seb made driving errors with Ferrari, those errors were made by him in RedBull as well. But Ferrari had internal Politics, which was just from some other universe. It didn’t make sense for Vettel and somehow got in his way in his last two years at Ferrari.

In 2021, Vettel signed up for the Aston Martin F1 project. He replaced Sergio Perez and joined Aston Martin. His performance at Aston Martin was not very good, but he wasn’t great either. Perhaps, Aston Martin couldn’t give him a car capable of challenging the top. Nevertheless, he put up good performances whenever he saw the chance – Hungary 2021 and Azerbaijan 2021, where he finished second for Aston Martin on both occasions.

Vettel’s Message:

Just before the Hungarian GP, Vettel shook the F1 world with his announcement.

“I have had the privilege of working with many fantastic people in Formula 1 over the past 15 years – there are far too many to mention and thank,” said Vettel.

“His decision to retire has been a difficult one for me to take, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about it; at the end of the year, I want to take some more time to reflect on what I will focus on next; it is obvious to me that, being a father, I want to spend more time with my family.

“ut 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,” “thanked Vettel for all the support.

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll said: 

“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. 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.”

Conclusion:

Although Sebastian was aggressive and dominating in his early years, he became the pit and fan favourite eventually. He was loved so much that he even managed to convert his haters into his fans. This was through his social works, his sense of humour on and off the pits. Nobody can forget his funny and straightforward ways of presenting himself. Sebastian Vettel is one of the best drivers our generation would’ve witnessed for sure. Perhaps we would’ve loved to see him win his fifth title, something every F1 fan still wishes from the bottom of their heart. Seeing Seb out of Formula One will be very painful. I just hope he is still connected to Formula One in any way, shape or form. We, as fans, wish him all the very best for his future. Stay Tuned with The Sportsway for more updates.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: