F1 Drivers Call Vettel an ‘Inspiration,’ ‘Legend,’ Irreplaceable

Formula One drivers did not sugarcoat their touching tribute to one of the sport’s greatest drivers on and off the track, Sebastian Vettel.

The Aston Martin driver announced via Instagram that he will retire from F1 at the end of the season. Throughout his storied career, he recorded four world championships (’10 to ’13), 53 race wins and 122 podiums. There are still 10 Grands Prix left on the calendar.

But his impact extended beyond just racing, as Vettel never hesitated to speak out about environmental matters or human rights.

“There’s no lack of bravery in Sebastian,” Lewis Hamilton told Sky Sports Thursday. “He has been one of the very, very few drivers in racing history that has stood for much more than himself. He’s used his voice in things that I’ve fought for and stood by me, he’s taken the knee, he’s gone on his own journey and stood on the grid and fought for things that he believed in, and for the greater good.”