Martin Brundle feels that Sebastian Vettel has "burned the candle hard" in his F1 career, following the news of his impending retirement from the sport.
Vettel confirmed ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix that he will step away from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 campaign, following the end of his second season with Aston Martin.
Brundle admits that, despite Vettel only being 35 years old, he has crammed a lot into his time in F1.
"It seems no time at all since he was a BMW Friday test driver, and then on the grid for Toro Rosso looking like a fresh-faced uni student enjoying life some 15 years ago," Brundle wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
"He has won four World Championships and 53 races, third on the all-time F1 list, and he remains the youngest-ever World Champion. He may only be 35 but he's burned the candle hard."
Should Vettel have left Red Bull for Ferrari?
Vettel won his four consecutive world titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013. After a more challenging season together in 2014, the German left to join Ferrari.
Despite winning several races with the Scuderia, Vettel failed to secure another World Championship there.
"14 of Seb's victories were with Ferrari over six seasons, which is perhaps more than some might imagine given that adventure didn't go much to plan," Brundle continued.
"I asked Christian Horner on Sky Sports F1 if he felt Seb had made a mistake leaving Red Bull for Ferrari at the end of 2014, and he was crystal clear that he felt it was the right move for him at that time."
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Brundle questions what the future holds for Vettel
Vettel spoke in his retirement announcement of his intentions to spend more time with his young family, as well as hinting at pursuing more of the activism work that he has undertaken in recent times.
Brundle can understand the Aston Martin driver's decision, but has questioned whether the latter could prove challenging for Vettel when he is not in the spotlight of the F1 paddock.
"Sebastian wants to pursue family life and no doubt some of the other global initiatives and causes he has championed in recent seasons," Brundle said.
"Whilst on the same day he launched an Instagram account which already has 2.1m followers, he will find it hard to maintain an awareness and springboard away from the global F1 stage because that game relentlessly looks forward. How often has anybody mentioned Kimi Raikkonen this year, for example?
"Sebastian is a true champion and a thoroughly good human being, and it was a pleasure to commentate on his career."
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