Sebastian Vettel in a Red Bull RB 7 seen during the Red Bull Formula Nürburgring at the Nürburgring in Germany on September 9, 2023. // Sebastian Marko / Red Bull Content Pool

F1: Vettel not finished with F1 – Marko (Update)

(GMM) Sebastian Vettel has played down reports that he might try to launch a return to the Formula 1 grid.

The quadruple world champion called it a day at the end of last year, but Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko this week said of the 36-year-old: “I’m not sure he knows exactly what he wants.

Sebastian Vettel in a Red Bull RB 7, David Coulthard in a Red Bull RB 8 seen during the Red Bull Formula Nuerburgring at the Nuerburgring in Germany on September 8, 2023. // Gruppe C GmbH / Red Bull Content Pool
Sebastian Vettel in a Red Bull RB 7, David Coulthard in a Red Bull RB 8 seen during the Red Bull Formula Nürburgring at the Nürburgring in Germany on September 8, 2023. // Gruppe C GmbH / Red Bull Content Pool

“However, I do not believe that the driving chapter is completely closed for him.”

Vettel then admitted he is still “in contact” with the team at which he achieved his monumental success in F1 – amid reports he will attend the Japanese GP at Suzuka next weekend.

However, he said it’s for an undisclosed “project” – almost certainly on the environmental front – rather than talks with F1 teams about a potential return.

“I can’t make any announcements at the moment, but I’m also very excited about it,” Vettel said of his impending trip to Japan. “I am very happy to be visiting Japan again.”

When asked if he has ever thought about returning to the grid, he laughed: “There’s plenty of time to think every day.

“No one knows for sure, but I can tell you right now – there will be no return to F1.”

Vettel insists he is not “jealous” of the dominance Max Verstappen is currently enjoying at Red Bull.

“He is working really hard and I think he will win even more. But I’m not jealous. I am happy to see his success.

“My F1 career is over. What that means is that I can now enjoy watching my former rivals perform from a distance.”

Vettel also played down the likelihood of a return to F1 in a non-drivin role.

“If I go to Zandvoort,” he laughed again, “I’d rather relax on the beach.”


September 12, 2023 

(GMM) It’s possible that Sebastian Vettel will launch an audacious return to Formula 1, according to Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko.

At the weekend, the newly-retired quadruple world champion demonstrated his title-winning 2011 Red Bull at the Nurburgring – and applauded the dominance of the team’s current champion, Max Verstappen.

Sebastian Vettel in a Red Bull RB 7, David Coulthard in a Red Bull RB 8 seen during the Red Bull Formula Nuerburgring at the Nuerburgring in Germany on September 8, 2023. // Gruppe C GmbH / Red Bull Content Pool
Sebastian Vettel in a Red Bull RB 7, David Coulthard in a Red Bull RB 8 seen during the Red Bull Formula Nürburgring at the Nürburgring in Germany on September 8, 2023. // Gruppe C GmbH / Red Bull Content Pool

“One can only applaud,” the 36-year-old German told Sportschau.

“The performance of the entire team, but especially that of Max, who does it so consistently every weekend, is great. It’s a level showing how far away the competition is.

“You have to acknowledge that and take the position that it’s great that we can watch.”

Vettel, who last raced for Aston Martin, also admitted that he remains in contact with some members of the Red Bull team.

“There is still an exchange going on,” he revealed. “The boys have a lot to do and do a lot of travelling, but I know them all. I’m in contact, occasionally on the phone.

“I’m still somewhat involved.”

Marko, who brought both Vettel and Verstappen into F1, thinks it’s possible the German will return.

“Sebastian isn’t working on anything in particular at the moment and I’m not sure he knows what exactly he wants,” he told Servus TV.

“However, I do not believe that the driving chapter is completely closed for him.”

Austrian Marko, 80, ruled out pairing Vettel with Verstappen, and also played down the likelihood of an Alpha Tauri seat for him.

“The contracts we have will continue for a while,” he said. “It would also not be an easy decision for him, because Formula 1 will continue to use fossil fuels.

“Motorsport is still about combustion engines and gasoline, so that would be difficult for him to reconcile. But if he sees things going in the right direction, I don’t see why not.”

Sebastian Vettel seen during the Red Bull Formula Nuerburgring at the Nuerburgring in Germany on September 9, 2023. // Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool
Sebastian Vettel seen during the Red Bull Formula Nürburgring at the Nürburgring in Germany on September 9, 2023. // Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool
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