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F1 News: Washed up Vettel still not considering F1 comeback (Update)

Any talk of Sebastian Vettel making a return to the F1 grid is simply ludicrous. It was clear at the time he retired he was washed up. He knew it, we knew it, and the world knew it.

(GMM) Sebastian Vettel appears to have accepted that he will not be returning to Formula 1.

On the face of it, the quadruple world champion is actually not closing the door completely.

He took his 1993 McLaren to Imola last weekend and put on an elaborate tribute to the late Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger. Afterwards, he told the media: “Of course I’ve thought about returning and I knew beforehand that I would think about it.

“But in the end nothing has changed.”

However, the 36-year-old German extensively tested a Porsche hypercar in late March and it seems the only reason he won’t be contesting Le Mans next month is because the marque wanted more experienced endurance drivers.

And former F1 driver Christian Danner said he sensed at Imola that Vettel accepts that he also won’t be returning to Formula 1.

“Firstly, he probably noticed that he wasn’t in great demand,” he told motorsport-magazin.com. “Secondly, I think he realized what it would mean – the energy you have to put into it and the training you have to do for it.”

Indeed, Danner said he suspects that Vettel has completely stopped all racing-related personal training.

“When I saw him standing there (at Imola) and shook his hand, I thought he looked a bit pale and gaunt,” he said. “He wasn’t bubbly and effervescent like we’ve seen before. I hope he’s well.”

Some even overheard some of Vettel’s former rivals pointing out that the former Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin driver no longer has a thick, F1-style neck.

“He can train a lot,” Danner said, “but I think reality is speaking clearly for Sebastian.

“I hope he will find that sense of wellbeing that is so difficult to regain when you’re no longer behind the wheel,” he added. “That great feeling you get when you drive a Formula 1 car.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed for him, whatever he does – whether it’s motorsport or something else.”

May 21, 2024 

(GMM) Sebastian Vettel says he is still no closer to deciding to return to Formula 1.

The quadruple world champion retired after the 2022 season – although he has always left the door open for a comeback in the future.

Vettel, 36, has stayed connected both to F1 and motorsport in general, including a recent extensive test at the wheel of Porsche’s Le Mans-ready prototype.

And he was at Imola last weekend, paying high-profile tribute to Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger with an on-track demonstration of his own 1993 McLaren, and having organized a jog with the F1 drivers to visit the Senna statue at Tamburello.

“Of course it was wonderful to be cheered on the track today,” Vettel said last Sunday at Imola, according to Germany’s motorsport-total.com. “A little bit of it was perhaps for me, but I was really here for Ayrton and Roland.”

And Vettel insists that it wasn’t part of a campaign to remind Formula 1 teams that he might be interested in activating a return to the racing grid.

Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing talk in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit on May 16, 2024 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“Of course I’ve thought about returning and I knew beforehand that I would think about it,” he said. “But in the end nothing has changed.

“There are things that I miss and things that I don’t miss. It’s always a give and take, but Formula 1 is just very intense these days if you look at the calendar and the number of races there are.”

Vettel left F1 declaring that his new priority would be his young family, including three children and his wife Hanna – and he says nothing has changed.

“Of course there are things I miss, especially the competition,” said the former Red Bull and Aston Martin driver. “And things I don’t miss, so that hasn’t changed.”

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