Sebastian Vettel claims he is not regretting his decision to retire at the end of the season despite a recent upturn in form.
The four-time world champion announced that he was calling time on his 15-year Formula One career back in July.
At the time, Vettel and his team Aston Martin were languishing near the bottom of the standings but since the summer break they have performed much better with particularly impressive showings at the last three races.
At last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, both Vettel and his teammate Lance Stroll showed tremendous pace, with the German even finding himself in the lead of the race in the latter stages.
A season’s best top five finish looked to be a certainty only for a botched pitstop to drop the 35-year-old way down the order, but nevertheless he recovered brilliantly to claim seventh and the driver of the day award.
Most eye-catching of all though, was Vettel’s last lap overtake on Kevin Magnussen, where he passed the Haas driver around the outside of turn 18 at the Circuit of the Americas.
It was an overtake described by 2009 title winner Jenson Button as: ‘One of the best moves I’ve ever seen.’
This, combined with his awesome duel with fellow champion Fernando Alonso in Japan, is proof for some that Vettel is enjoying the best racing of his career since his heyday with Red Bull and Ferrari.
As such, fans and pundits have been clamoring for Vettel to postpone his retirement, or at the very least return to the grid in the next few years.
Wednesday’s announcement that Audi will be partnering with Sauber in 2026 has fueled such calls, with many fans begging for Audi to sign Vettel and his friend and mentee Mick Schumacher to create an all-German team.
But this would be an unlikely prospect for a number of reasons, not least that Vettel has no plans to call off his retirement.
‘No. Of course,’ he told Bild when asked if the recent thrilling races had made him reconsider his decision to leave F1.
‘I will miss such moments, that’s no secret. But I thought about the decision for a long time and also about such moments and the adrenaline that I will miss.
‘Part of me will miss it, but another part of me is looking forward to what’s coming.’
When announcing his retirement, Vettel claimed he was doing so to spend more time with his family, something that F1’s increasingly hectic schedule was preventing him from doing.
He now has just three races left in his F1 career, starting with this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
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