Sebastian Vettel talks F1 retirement plan after making Lewis Hamilton ambition clear

Sebastian Vettel sits in Aston Martin Formula One car

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Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel was able to stretch his legs in the new Aston Martin on Thursday and has now spoken out to shutdown any notion he will retire from Formula One any time soon.

Despite being only 33-years-old, Vettel is a veteran of Formula One, having racked up four world titles, a hefty 53 wins and 257 races, but after a difficult season with Ferrari, which was quite publicly documented, he’s now keen to start again – under the newly branded Aston Martin team, previously Racing Point Racing.

And the German has high hopes, with Aston rejoining Formula One for the first time since 1961, and now has his eyes set on beating Lewis Hamilton to the world title in the next few years after a fresh start at the Silverstone-based team.

Vettel, who had a turbulent relationship with his previous team Ferrari, looked set to hang up his helmet and call it a day with four world championships under his belt.

But having penned a multi-year contract, the German is hoping that he can get back to the front of the F1 grid, with some Mercedes power beneath him in the AMR21.

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And speaking to TopGear.com this week, Vettel hinted he could still have a few years left in him.

“I see myself in the cockpit wearing a helmet at this stage. Beyond that, I don’t know,” he said.

“Obviously last year I gave it some thought, but I think it’s all a bit far away still.”

Vettel openly admitted last season he became close to retiring, weighing up the pros and cons of staying in Formula One.

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Speaking ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix last season, he announced he would be switching to Aston Martin, but confessed it wasn’t an easy decision.

He explained: “It was close in terms of having a lot of thoughts and I have to put myself first in that regard. What’s best for me?

“What I’ve decided now, I believe it’s the best for me and I’m looking forward to prove that.”

But, this season Vettel has been raring to go, speaking of challenging for a fifth world title and hoping to put the past at Ferrari behind him.

However the German says when he does eventually decide to walk away from the sport, he won’t be returning in any other role.

“Definitely not seeing myself on the pit wall. Or even worse, jumping up and down the paddock [as a pit lane reporter],” he added in his interview with Top Gear. 

“So I think in this regard, once it’s done, it’s done. I think it’s healthier to move on and do something else.

“Obviously, racing is a big part of me, but it doesn’t mean that I have to put my face into the camera regularly.”

Aston Martin are appearing in F1 for the first time in six decades, following the rebrand of Racing Point. They say they’re targeting a top-three finish in the constructors’ standings this season.

But Vettel would love to clinch a fifth world title with the team and said this week: “I think I have another world championship in me. It has been in me before and it was a big relief winning the first one and knowing you can do it.

“Since then, I don’t see why it is not there anymore. I am not too old and I still have a long time in me.”

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