Retired F1 driver Sebastian Vettel says he cannot rule out the possibility of making a F1 comeback at some point.
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel has this week found himself at the center of ongoing speculation that he might soon launch an effort to return to Formula 1.
The quadruple world champion, newly retired in 2023, will be present at Suzuka next weekend for an undisclosed “project” – almost certainly related to environmentalism.
But it has ramped up reporters’ questions about a potential F1 comeback.
“Will I come back? I can’t say no because you never really know what can happen,” the British broadcaster Sky now quotes him as saying.
His former boss at Red Bull, Dr Helmut Marko, added fuel to the fire this week by admitting he thinks 36-year-old Vettel’s driving days are not yet over.
“I talk to him on the phone every now and then,” Vettel told Der Westen on Wednesday. “We exchange ideas and are good friends.
“But at the moment there are no plans for me to come back.”
Vettel turned 36 in July but is still younger than both Lewis Hamilton (38) and Alonso (42).
“It probably will depend much on when, and obviously it’s not endless, because 36 is not like, ‘yeah in 10 years’ time’,” Vettel continued.
Mathias Lauda, however – the son of the late F1 legend Niki Lauda – chatted with Vettel at the Nurburgring event last weekend about the German’s potential comeback.
“Sebastian was there with his family,” Mathias told Osterreich newspaper. “I wanted to know if he missed his Formula 1 days.
“He told me that he really misses the competition and certain moments, but that he doesn’t miss the stress.”
Vettel doesn’t deny that.
He told Kolner Express newspaper: “I’m still coping well at the moment (with retirement).
“But nothing pushed me to the limit like Formula 1. That’s what I miss the most. But at some point that adrenaline rush runs out, and then it’s about moving on.
“I’m still searching and looking, and this process is exciting in itself,” said Vettel.
“Maybe I think about it then time has passed but it will depend on the challenge, whatever, but it’s not in my head right now.
“And I’m enjoying the sort of outlook of the challenge of what to do next. It will be the way I see it, the biggest challenge for any racing driver and the biggest challenge for any sportsman, sportswoman, what do you do after?
“Because naturally you will be like 30-35, 40-45 – depending on your sport and discipline. And then what?
“There’s a lot of life left and life can be great even though you’re not racing, you know, the absolute limit in the fastest car in the world, but you can still do lots of great things that give you great pleasure.”
Watch Sebastian Vettel And David Coulthard Run Championship-Winning F1 Cars On The Nürburgring
It has been ten years since anyone drove F1 cars around the Nordschleife, and they’re using biofuels.
Red Bull Formula Nürburgring was an event over the weekend bringing F1 back to the Germans. Featuring a pair of championship-winning chassis, Sebastian Vettel’s 2011 and 2012 cars, ‘Kinky Kylie’ and ‘Abbey’ respectively, Vettel himself would drive and former Red Bull race winner David Coulthard would sit in as well. Vettel wanted to run the event on pure synthetic fuels as part of his Race Without Trace initiatives.