Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has announced that he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season.
The 35-year-old made his debut for BMW Sauber in 2007 after joining the team as a test driver in 2006.
He went on to race for Toro Rosso and then Red Bull - where he won four consecutive world championships between 2010 and 2013 - before moving to Ferrari.
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He was often the closest rival to Lewis Hamilton but left the Italian team in 2021 to join Aston Martin.
The British team have struggled this season with Vettel well down the qualifying standings, and both he and team-mate Lance Stroll have struggled to score points.
He wrote on the Aston Martin website: "I have had the privilege of working with many fantastic people in Formula One over the past 15 years - there are far too many to mention and thank.
"Over the past two years I have been an Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant driver - and although our results have not been as good as we had hoped, it is very clear to me that everything is being put together that a team needs to race at the very highest level for years to come.
“I hope that the work I did last year and am continuing to do this year will be helpful in the development of a team that will win in the future.
"I have really enjoyed working with such a great bunch of people. Everyone - Lawrence, Lance, Martin, Mike, the senior managers, the engineers, the mechanics and the rest of the team - is ambitious, capable, expert, committed and friendly, and I wish them all well.
"I hope that the work I did last year and am continuing to do this year will be helpful in the development of a team that will win in the future, and I will work as hard as I can between now and the end of the year with that goal in mind, giving as always my best in the last 10 races.
"The decision to retire has been a difficult one for me to take, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about it; at the end of the year I want to take some more time to reflect on what I will focus on next; it is very clear to me that, being a father, I want to spend more time with my family. But today is not about saying goodbye.
"Rather, it is about saying thank you - to everyone - not least to the fans, without whose passionate support Formula One could not exist."
Mike Krack, the team principal, added: "Sebastian is a superb driver - fast, intelligent and strategic - and of course, we are going to miss those qualities. However, we have all learned from him, and the knowledge that we have gained from working with him will continue to benefit our team long after his departure."
Vettel has been increasingly vocal in recent years over social issues. At the 2021 British Grand Prix he cleared up litter in the stands, held an all-women karting event at the same time as the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix the same year, as well as wearing a pride flag at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
He also said he would refuse to take part in the Russian Grand Prix this season before the race was suspended, as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, and at the Miami Grand Prix he wore a t-shirt explaining the area is predicted to be submerged as a result of climate change.
In his social media post announcing his decision to retire, he made reference to his beliefs, saying: "I am tolerant and feel we all have the same rights to live, no matter what we look like, where we come from and who we love.
"I love being outside and love nature in its wonders."
In 289 starts, he has 57 pole positions and 53 wins to go with his four world championships.
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