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Sebastian Vettel will bring an end to his illustrious Formula One career at the end of the season, he revealed on Thursday.
The four-time F1 champion has seen the current campaign shrouded by speculation on his future, with his deal with Aston Martin expiring at the end of the year – and he has now made the decision to step away into retirement.
"I have had the privilege of working with many fantastic people in Formula One over the past 15 years - there are far too many to mention and thank," he said in a statement.
"The 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 very clear to me that, being a father, I want to spend more time with my family. But 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 One could not exist."
Vettel began his F1 career in 2007 with BMW, then moved to Toro Rosso for a two-year stint before stepping up to join Red Bull.
Finishing second in his first season with Red Bull, Vettel then won four consecutive world titles from 2010 to 2013 and left to join Ferrari in 2015, spending six seasons there.
Vettel finished 12th in the drivers' championship in 2021, his first season with Aston Martin, and lies 14th in the standings in 2022 – having picked up just 15 points.