'My goals have shifted' - Vettel reveals new focuses in life after F1

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Sebastian Vettel has opened up on his decision to retire from Formula 1, admitting his "goals have shifted".

On Thursday, the four-time world champion announced this season will be his last after 15 years on the grid, dating back to his debut for BMW in 2007.

During that time, he led Red Bull's rise to the top and followed in the footsteps of his hero Michael Schumacher by driving for Ferrari.

Since 2021, Vettel has been in less familiar territory, battling in the midfield with Aston Martin, and the 35-year-old feels the time is right to adjust his focus away from the racetrack.

“Next to racing, I have grown a family and I love being around them," he said via Formula1.com.

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"I have grown other interests outside Formula 1. My passion for racing and Formula 1 comes with lots of time spent away from them and takes a lot of energy.

“Committing to my passion the way I did and the way I think is right, no longer goes side-by-side with my wish to be a great father and husband.

"The energy it takes to become one with the car and the team, to chase perfection, takes focus and commitment.

"My goals have shifted from winning races and fighting for championships to seeing my children grow, passing on my values, helping them up when they fall, listening to them when they need me, not having to say goodbye, and most importantly being able to learn from them and let them inspire me."

Vettel Hungary 2021

In addition to racing, Vettel has become known for his political activism centred around LGBT rights and the environment.

And he hopes his next life step allows him to further push for a better future for all.

“Children are our future, further I feel there is so much to explore and learn about life and about myself," he added.

“Speaking of the future, I feel we live in very decisive times and how we all shape these next years will determine our lives.

"My passion comes with certain aspects that I’ve learned to dislike. They might be solved in the future, but the will to apply that change has to grow much stronger and has to be leading to action today.

"Talk is not enough and we cannot afford to wait. There is no alternative, the race is underway.

"My best race is still to come, I believe in moving forwards and moving on. Time is a one-way street and I want to grow with the times.

"Looking back is only going to slow you down. I look forward to racing down unknown tracks and I will be finding new challenges.

"The marks I left on track will stay until time and rain will wash them away. New ones will be put down. Tomorrow belongs to those shaping today.

“The next corner is in good hands as the new generation has already turned in. I believe there is still a race to win.

“Farewell and thank you for letting me share the track with you, I loved every bit of it.”