Vettel relieved as retirement decision was 'a distraction'


Sebastian Vettel says his decision to retire from F1 has been a relief, admitting that pondering his future has been a distraction in recent months.

Vettel informed his Aston Martin team on Wednesday evening of his resolution in conformity with the outfit's request that the German make a call on his future before F1's summer break to give the Silverstone-based team the time to review its options in the coming months.

Vettel said that he will now approach the back half of the F1 season in a more relaxed frame of mind.

"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 revealed that family considerations and his his interests outside of Formula 1 had played a big part in helping him settle his case regarding his future.

"So it's not a decision I took overnight," he explained. "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.

"But as I said, so much dedication going in means also a lot of time spent in your head, in your thoughts, but also physically away from home, from kids, family, and I've grown other things, other than the children who are growing, it’s other interests and views, and I can't ignore these voices.

"So that ultimately, I think the questions got bigger and bigger and more central to a point where I made the decision.

"It's not a 100%-0% decision. It's not like I hate racing from now on, I still love racing.

"But it's probably the majority that pulls me in a different direction. And I'm not making way, because it's my decision, but I'm happy to head in a different direction."

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Vettel has always strongly protected his private life. But on Thursday, the 35-year-old opened up on the support he has received from his wife Hannah who was ready to back her husband's decision, regardless of the path he would ultimately choose.

"Of course, I spent a lot of time talking to my wife," he said. "And she's probably been the first supporter in terms of carrying on, and said that ultimately, it's my decision.

"I think I'm incredibly lucky that I found something that means so much to me in my life, gave me so much joy, a platform to make friends and meet all sorts of people, travel the world, see things, open my horizons.

"And, yeah, I think she's been very supportive, saying that it has to be my decision. Of course, she has an opinion. But she's very supportive. And in the end, [it was] it's for you to decide, I cannot decide for you."

Vettel acknowledged that his outlook on the world as someone dedicated to improving the environment was also a factor that weighed heavily on his decision to call it a day on his life and times in F1.

"Yeah, it's one of the factors that definitely played a role. I don't know, I can't give you a number in terms of percentage, I think that would be silly," he said.

"But for sure, seeing the world changing and seeing the future, in a very threatened position for all of us, and especially for generations to come - I understand that part of my passion, my job is coming with things that I'm not a fan of, obviously, travelling the world, racing cars, burning resources, literally.

"I think once you see these things, and once you're aware, then I don't think you can really unsee. It's not the main factor.

"Like I said, it is a combination of many things, but it is also part of the driver behind the decision."

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