Sebastian Vettel, a four-time Formula One champion, will be retiring at the end the current season.
The driver, who is 35 years old, will continue to race with the current Aston Martin team before taking his final bow.
Vettel is one the sport’s most successful drivers, having won four consecutive championships with Red Bull in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
During his career, which began in 2007, he has also driven for Ferrari.
The German won 53 races and is third in all-time rankings, behind Michael Schumacher (91) and Britain’s Si Lewis Hamilton with103.
Vettel stated in a statement that he had the pleasure of working with many wonderful people in Formula One over 15 years. There are too many to thank.
He said, “The decision to retire was difficult for me and I have spent a lot time reflecting on it. At the end of the year, I want some time to think about what I will be focusing on next. It is clear to me that as a father, it is important to spend more time with my children.
“But today isn’t about saying goodbye.
“It is more about saying thank-you – to everybody – not just to the fans, Formula One would not be possible without their passionate support.”
Lawrence Stroll, executive chairman of the Aston Martin F1 Team, stated: “We made it very clear that we wanted him to stay with us next year. But in the end, he did what was right for him and his family. And we respect that.”
“He has been a great driver for us and his knowledge and experience with our engineers has been invaluable. He is a legend in Formula One and it was a pleasure to have worked with him.
“He will race for us until and including the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This will be his 300th Grand Prix entry. We will give him a wonderful send-off.”
Mike Krack, Aston Martin’s team principal said that Sebastian is a great driver. He is fast, intelligent, and strategic. We will miss these qualities. We have all learned from him and the knowledge we gained from working together will benefit our team for many years to come.
He said, “When we are fully competitive – which we will – Sebastian will be one of the architects for our future success. We will always be grateful to Sebastian for that.”