We started this morning with excitement that fan favorite Sebastian Vettel had finally joined Instagram, only to quickly put on a sad face when he used it to announce his retirement from Formula 1.
After 15 seasons, 4 championships, 53 wins, 122 podiums, 3076 points, 57 poles, and 38 fastest laps, the German driver has announced that he is handing up his hat at the end of the 2022 season. In a somewhat somber Instagram video, Seb says that he wishes to devote his full attention to his family, raising his children, and tackling the social/ political/ environmental issues he has been so vocal about over the last few seasons.
There is no doubt that the grid will miss him. Despite a difficult 2022 season with a poorly designed Aston Martin, he has still been one of the most likable drivers on the grid, never afraid to show his personality, goof off, and stand up for what he believes in, no matter what oppressive government is hosting the race that weekend (I'm looking at you, Saudi Arabia). Conspiracy theorists on Twitter have already been spinning that the investment by the Saudi's Sovereign Wealth Fund into Aston Martin played a role in this somewhat sudden mid-season announcement retirement announcement, but that's probably just Twitter doing Twitter things.
My guess is that it's laying the groundwork for Mick Schumacher to open up the possibility for a move to Aston Martin before he comes to terms with Haas. That's a story of its own and one that I won't good too deeply on here, but it's a relationship that has taken F1 by storm, with Seb stepping in to mentor the young Schumacher in the same way that Michael stepped into mentor Seb early in his career.
I doubt this is the last we will hear from Sebastian. Cheers to an amazing career and best of luck on your march to change the world. As for the future of Formula 1 world, this just threw a massive jump-start into the start of the silly season right before the summer break.