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Vettel on Ferrari period: 'The thought of quitting was very present'

Vettel on Ferrari period: 'The thought of quitting was very present'

08-11-2022 08:39 Last update: 12:28


Sebastian Vettel has explained how tough his time at Ferrari was, especially mentally. In an interview with Der Spiegel, the German tells that he had considered early retirement on several occasions.

Vettel's Formula 1 career is nearing its end. With two races to go, the Aston Martin driver can look back on an impressive career, including no fewer than four world titles. But now the last of those titles is already nine years old and it has been quite a while since Vettel could really fight for wins.

After a successful stint at Red Bull Racing, Vettel moved to Ferrari in 2015, hoping to compete there against the newly emerged Mercedes. To no avail: second place finishes in 2017 and 2018 proved to be the highest they could achieve. Vettel now reveals that he was close to retiring during that period. "Consuming so much energy two years in a row, also mentally, and then coming up against nothing. Then the doubt arose: will this still happen? Is there any hope?"

Mental blow of 2019 was the deciding factor

In the end, Vettel stayed at Ferrari for two more years before making the switch to Aston Martin in 2021. The last two years at Ferrari were not easy for Vettel, as during that period Red Bull also passed the Italian racing stable. The realisation that it wasn't going to be him at Ferrari was tough, Vettel explains. "It did something to me that I didn't immediately understand. When my contract at Ferrari expired in 2020, the thought of quitting was very present."

Although Vettel has not been able to compete at the forefront at Aston Martin, the team is nevertheless making a strong advance in the midfield. Rival Alfa Romeo is still just four points ahead of Aston Martin and Vettel himself can still clinch the tenth spot among drivers in the remaining races.