Sebastian Vettel has revealed he came “close” to retiring from Formula 1 before committing to Aston Martin Racing on a multi-year deal.
Vettel was informed by Ferrari in May that he was not part of the team’s plans and the subject of his future has been a discussion point throughout the delayed 2020 campaign.
On Thursday it was confirmed that Vettel will remain in Formula 1 next season after agreeing to join Racing Point, which will rebrand as Aston Martin in 2021.
When asked how close he came to walking away from Formula 1, Vettel said: “Close. I don’t know if there is a measure of how close you can get.
“It was close in terms of having a lot of thoughts, and deciding what’s ultimately I have to put myself first in that regard and what’s best for me.
“What I’ve decided now I believe is the best for me and looking forward to proving that.
“It wasn’t an easy call because the last weeks and months have been quite intense, a different and new situation to be in.
“As I have put out from day 1 obviously I felt like I wanted to remain in Formula 1 if there was something that really attracts me.”
Vettel added that it was “clear” for him that Racing Point was the right destination once he realised he wanted to remain in Formula 1.
“[The important aspect for] me has been answering to myself the question of what I want to do and want to get out of myself in a potential future in Formula 1,” he said.
“Once those things were clear I think the performance side [of the team] was ticked fairly quickly and a lot of thinking on my side in terms of what I want to get at again, once those things were clear it was clear what to do.”