Sebastian Vettel has revealed he considered retiring from Formula One, before finally deciding to join Aston Martin for next season.
The four-time world champion’s move from Ferrari was confirmed on Thursday, with Sergio Perez making way for him. The Mexican has been racing well, but with the existing Racing Point team being rebranded as Aston Martin from 2021, some of the hierarchy felt Vettel’s name carried a little more stardust, even though he is short of form.
The incoming German will partner team owner Lawrence Stroll’s son, Lance.
Sebastian Vettel has been confirmed as an Aston Martin driver for the 2021 season
But the German admitted he had thought about retiring before making the switch from Ferrari
Vettel, 33, has been mulling over his future since he was told during lockdown he was no longer required as the Scuderia’s No 1, with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz due to drive with Charles Leclerc for Ferrari next season.
Asked if he had contemplated quitting the sport, Vettel said: ‘Yes, it was a close thing. I had a lot of thoughts.
‘What I’ve decided now I believe is the best for me and I am looking forward to proving that. It wasn’t an easy call because the last weeks and months have been intense.’
Vettel is set to link up with Lance Stroll at his new team, set to rebrand as Aston Martin in 2021
Of his six title-less years at Ferrari, who ‘celebrate’ their 1,000th race at Mugello’s Tuscan Grand Prix on Sunday, Vettel said: ‘I joined not just to be at Ferrari or to win races, but to win championships. In that regard you can say we have failed. We had successful moments I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. People helped me… I made friends for life.
‘I don’t regret the years I have spent at Ferrari.’
Perez, 30, said he was surprised to be told of his sacking, over the phone by Stroll, only a few hours before the decision was announced. ‘Nobody told me anything,’ said Perez, icily. ‘It’s fine. Seven years with the team.’
Sergio Perez revealed departure ahead of this weekend’s Tuscan Grand Prix after seven years
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