Vettel announced at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend that he was going to be leaving the sport at the end of the current campaign, with Fernando Alonso since confirmed as his successor at Aston Martin.
The German leaves the sport as a four-time world champion, and as one of the all-time greats of F1, with him ranking high towards the top of the race victories and pole positions list, with him particularly dominant during his time at Red Bull.
Of course, running around in the midfield as he has been more recently, will have dampened his motivation to keep driving and, indeed, it’s clear he is aware of the environmental impact that the sport has – though work is obviously being done to improve that – and those factors, alongside a wish to spend more time with his family, has seen him come to this decision.
The German, though, might not be done and dusted totally with racing altogether, with plenty of other motorsport series surely eager to accommodate him if he so wishes to join them in the future.
Indeed, Alesi believes that Vettel is leaving F1 at the right time for him, but that this might not be the end of his career as a racing driver:
“He did it at a good time. He is a four-time world champion, he is very well respected in F1 by all the drivers and that means a lot you know,” Alesi said to Give Me Sport.
“But he’s quite young, so probably we will see him back in a racing car quite soon, I believe.”
With series like Formula E and Extreme E promoting sustainability and environmental awareness – two issues close to Seb – you’d never be surprised to see him end up in such a championship.
Ultimately, though, Vettel leaves F1 with a legacy any driver would be proud of, and that is all that he could have asked for.
The 2022 Formula 1 world championship resumes with the Belgian Grand Prix on Aug 26-28.