Sebastian Vettel Suggests F1 Return ‘Might Be Appealing’

f1 grand prix of japan qualifying
Vettel Suggests F1 Return ‘Might Be Appealing'Kym Illman - Getty Images
  • Sebastian Vettel retired from Formula 1 at the end of 2022.

  • In F1, he won 53 races and four championships in a 299-race career.

  • In addition to Red Bull, which is where he won his four championships, he also raced for a a spell at Ferrari in which he won races, followed by a two-year stint at Aston Martin.

Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel is hinting for the first time that he could be interested in a return to Formula 1.

Vettel retired from the championship at the end of 2022, following a 299-race career that yielded four world titles with Red Bull, a spell at Ferrari in which he won races, followed by a two-year stint at Aston Martin.

Vettel, whose 53 F1 victories is good for fourth on the all-time list, has not raced anything competitively since his retirement from Formula 1, and has appeared at only a couple of Grands Prix.

Last month, he tested Porsche’s 963, the car it uses in the World Endurance Championship.

Speaking to U.K. broadcaster Radio X, Vettel said: “The better the car, the better the team, the more exciting it is in terms of having the prospect of being successful. I'm following the sport, I see what's going on. And it [a return] might be appealing and interesting, but it really depends on the full package because it is a big commitment as well, with all the other stuff going on outside the driving activity.”

Vettel, 36, is younger than current racers Fernando Alonso, 42, and 39-year-old Lewis Hamilton.

“To seriously consider, it would very much depend on the package,” said Vettel. “From an age point of view, I feel bloody young with all the guys that are still hanging around and signing big contracts, being around for longer—it looks like I could have another 10 years in the sport. So I'm definitely ahead of them in terms of keeping fit.”

Ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, Ferrari-bound Hamilton was asked about drivers stepping away from the sport before returning, and suggested Vettel would be a strong candidate to replace him at Mercedes.

abu dhabi f1 gp 2022 sunday
Sebastian Vettel last drove competitively for Aston Martin in Formula 1 in 2022.NurPhoto - Getty Images

“It’s the greatest sport in the world and it’s the greatest experience in the world and the most amazing feeling to be working with the people towards winning something,” he said.

“Probably there’s nothing that’s ever going to feel the same. I’ve not asked any of the drivers what they’re missing but I would love for Seb to come back and I think it would be an amazing option for the team: German driver, multi world championship winning driver, and someone who has amazing values who would continue to take the team forward. I’d love it if he came back.”

Hamilton stressed that he would have “zero” input in who his replacement is at Mercedes but added that “the only thing I really care about is that the team takes on someone that with integrity and that are aligned with the team and where the team’s going.

“I hope they find someone great. But they’ve already got George (Russell) and he’s perfect so finding a good option alongside him, I’m sure they’ve got so many good options. They’ve got so many options. I do think it’s always great to give an opportunity to up and coming drivers so the idea of a youngster coming in for me is exciting.”