Sebastian Vettel is undoubtedly one of the most popular drivers in Formula One.
When he decided to call time on his career, it was natural for fans and all those close to the German to reflect on his career.
While the German is a four-time world champion, it goes without saying that the second half of his career has not been all that fruitful for him.
Many had claimed even before his retirement announcement that Vettel had fallen out of love with F1 and would soon quit the sport.
Therefore, while it was a sad moment when he did finally make the announcement, it didn’t catch too many people by surprise.
Vettel’s best years in the sport had come with Red Bull, where he had won all four of his championships in consecutive years between 2010-2013.
However, things started moving downhill for him ever since he made the move to Ferrari and they only got worse at Aston Martin.
Involved predominantly in a midfield fight, it was not pretty viewing for Vettel’s fans.
Amidst all this, there was even a chance that Red Bull would re-sign Vettel ahead of his deal with Aston Martin.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner admitted that Vettel “made the right decision” in retiring, but also opened up on why the team decided to sign Sergio Perez despite talks with Vettel two seasons ago.
“I don’t think anybody did, I saw him as he left the paddock in Paul Ricard and it had been obviously a frustrating day for him,” said Horner.
“But I think it’s the right decision for him, it’s not good seeing him run around in the midfield, I don’t think he’s getting any satisfaction from that, the time is right to draw the curtain on what has been an amazing career.”
Red Bull thought about re-signing Vettel
On the prospect of signing Vettel at Red Bull when the team was looking for a suitable teammate for Max Verstappen, Horner said it would almost be “like going back to an old girlfriend”.
“We had a few exploratory talks,” Horner said.
“But it would be a bit like going back to an old girlfriend, it would probably never be quite the same second time around.
“What we achieved together was so remarkable. It was such a phenomenal thing and that will always be part of our history, and we’re tremendously proud to have had him as part of our team.”
After Vettel called time on his career, Aston Martin promptly announced Spanish driver Fernando Alonso as his replacement for the 2023 season.