FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

Vettel at the Nürburgring

Vettel hints at possible Formula 1 comeback

Vettel contemplates Formula 1 return: a second act on the horizon?

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Sebastian Vettel, four-time Formula 1 world champion, has hinted at the possibility of coming out of retirement to make a return to the sport’s grid.

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.
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. (Image Credit: Gruppe C GmbH via Red Bull Content Pool)

Vettel, who decided to bid farewell to Formula 1 after the 2022 season, is now in the spotlight amid rumours of a potential comeback.

Will he return?

At just 36 years old, Vettel remains a considerably younger contender than the oldest driver currently on the grid, Fernando Alonso. In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports F1, Vettel was asked by Martin Brundle whether he would contemplate following in the footsteps of fellow world champions Nigel Mansell, Alonso, and Kimi Raikkonen by returning to the sport after a hiatus.

In response to Brundle’s inquiry, Vettel offered: “I can’t say no, because that you don’t know.

“I think it’s something that if you asked all of [the drivers who quit and came back] probably some of them would have said: ‘No’ [to a return], some of them I don’t know, but in the end all of them came back, so I can’t exclude it.

“It probably will depend much on when, and obviously it’s not endless, because [at] 36 [I am] not like: ‘Yeah in 10 years’ time’ [I will come back].”

“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.”

“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, or sportswoman: What do you do after [retirement]?

“There’s a lot of life left and life can be great even though you’re not racing on 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 names conditions for comeback

Vettel’s final two seasons in Formula 1 saw him driving for Aston Martin. The team struggled in the midfield. His replacement, Fernando Alonso, has since capitalised on the improved 2023 car to secure seven podium finishes in the first 14 races of the season.

While Vettel was linked with a temporary return to the grid when his former teammate Lance Stroll suffered a wrist injury just weeks before the start of the season, the Aston Martin driver made a recovery in time for the first race. Vettel mentioned that he has maintained his fitness, with the only significant hurdle to an immediate comeback being the need to rebuild his neck strength, which is crucial for withstanding the extreme G-forces that F1 drivers endure.

“[I will come back] because I want to, not because if somebody falls out I’m going to [step in], not because of that.

“But my neck is not up to speed, it can’t be, but everything else [physically] is pretty, pretty good, I would say.”

Vettel teamed up with Red Bull to drive his 2011 championship-winning car at the Nürburgring, highlighting the use of sustainable fuels. This event was part of Vettel’s “Race Without Trace” campaign, which promotes sustainability in motorsports, showcasing his commitment to environmental causes beyond the racetrack.

Feature Image Credit: Joerg Mitter via Red Bull Content Pool

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top