Vettel announced that he would end his 15-year career, which has yielded four world championships, at the end of this season.

He had previously been in talks with Aston Martin over extending his stay but, according to his father, a disastrous weekend in Austria was a catalyst to retire.

"It's a shame, but I understand him," Norbert Vettel told German TV station RTL.

"It was an incredible career for my son but the low point was Austria. 

“It hurt him so much to drive around at the end of the field and that accelerated those thoughts for him.”

Vettel finished last, of all the drivers who completed the race, at the F1 Austrian Grand Prix.

He was also punished with a suspended fine of €25,000 for walking out of the drivers’ briefing.

Vettel ended the weekend by calling for life bans for abusive fans, after reports of sexual harassment in Austria.

Fabian Vettel, the driver’s brother, told RTL: "Through his enthusiasm for nature and the other people who live on this planet, he will invest a lot of time on that.”

Vettel sits 14th in the 2022 standings ahead of the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix.

He has admitted that he is "scared of what's to come" after ending his F1 career. He will leave a vacant Aston Martin seat and appeared to tip Mick Schumacher, who he mentors, to replace him.