Sebastian Vettel, the retired four-time Formula 1 Champion, insists of a proper opportunity to return to the sport comes up, he won’t be able to refuse it.
The German retired from F1 at the end of the 2022 season after two campaigns with Aston Martin where his best result was a second place at the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Before that Vettel raced for Ferrari for six frustrating seasons that did not yield the Title success both he and the Scuderia yearned to achieve together, the driver leaving the Italian outfit a shadow of his dominant self we saw in his Red Bull days where he dominated the sport between 2010 and 2013 with four Title doubles achieved.
On that occasion he spoke in an interview with Sky Sports F1‘s Martin Brundle, and when asked if he would return to F1 after retirement like other drivers did, Nigel Mansell, Fernando Alonso, and Kimi Raikkonen to name a few.
The winner of 53 grands prix responded: “I can’t say no, because that you don’t know.
“I think it’s something that if you asked all of them, probably some of them would have said ‘no’. And some of them I don’t know, but in the end all of them came back, so I can’t exclude it,” he added.
At the age of 36, Vettel admits that choosing to return to F1 has to be well considered, as he will not have an open time limit to see the fruits of such a venture realized, insisting he is enjoying his time away from the sport.
A potential return depends on the challenge
“It probably will depend much on when, and obviously it’s not endless, because 36 is not like, ‘yeah in 10 years’ time’,” he said.
“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,” Vettel insisted.
Vettel revealed he is staying fit despite being away from competitive racing, insisting that is by choice, and not because he wants to be ready for any potential return to F1.
“Yeah, but because I want to, not because I’m like, come back or if somebody falls out I’m going to (step in), not because of that,” he said when asked if he’s fit to race.
“But so I guess my neck is not up to speed. No, it can’t be, but everything else is pretty, pretty good, I would say,” the 57-time F1 pole-sitter maintained.
Vettel was linked with a return to F1 early in 2023 after Lance Stroll sustained injuries to his wrists in a cycling accident during the off season, but the Canadian somehow made it to the first race in Bahrain.