Vettel not worried by F1's next generation, hopes to retire on own terms

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Sebastian Vettel isn't worried the next generation of Formula 1 drivers will force him off the grid.

The German's future has been under scrutiny at times in 2019 as he voiced frustration with the direction of the sport and faced a tough challenge against new Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc.

Indeed, the Monegasque is set to finish ahead of the four-time world champion in the championship while a number of errors have led to questions as to whether Vettel can still hack it against the very best.

But with more young drivers lining up wanting his seat, the 32-year-old is confident he isn't passed his prime.

"No, certainly not. I think age is not as crucial to us as it is in some other sports and in the end, it's the same with every sport – if you're good enough, you're still young enough," he said via GPFans.

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Explaining then why he has been taking a more pragmatic approach to his future, Vettel continued: "I have been in Formula 1 for 12 years now and therefore I have a very different perspective than before.

"I judge things with a little more distance and not so quickly. It's the luxury of having a few years on the clock."

Despite that, he insisted: "I do not intend to retire in the foreseeable future. I enjoy racing a lot.

"But I think it's normal that, 12 years later, I sometimes try to look ahead and think about what comes next. I don't think it's a good idea to just stop something that was so life-defining without an idea of how to go on.

"You should feel comfortable with the decision and be able to say: Enough! It's not ideal when the time is dictated from the outside.

"For me it is clear – once I stop, then I stop and will not come back. You have to be happy and be able to say: That's it."