Gerhard Berger is keen to lure Sebastian Vettel to DTM at the end of his F1 career – with the offer of a secondary, off-track role.
How long Vettel will continue as a Formula 1 racer is unclear, having moved this season to join Aston Martin after six years with Ferrari.
After making his F1 debut in June 2007 with BMW Sauber, the German is now into his 15th campaign and showed there is plenty of life left in him by finishing second in the recent Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
But the 33-year-old is unlikely to be too far away from thinking about what comes after Formula 1 and if Berger has any significant influence, that would mean DTM.
The 2021 edition of the German-based touring car championship began last weekend at Monza, with the first of two races at the Italian venue won by Red Bull prodigy Liam Lawson, while Alex Albon finished fourth and seventh respectively on his debut.
Berger heads up DTM and makes no secret of wanting to get Vettel involved to boost the profile of the series, hoping to utilise the promotional value of both his racing skills and his interest in sustainability initiatives.
“Sebastian is an enthusiastic racing driver but he won’t always remain enthusiastic in Formula 1,” said Berger, quoted by Speedweek.
“There is a time when you can drive at the highest level. At some point this period is over but the desire for racing has not yet gone. Then you ask yourself ‘what else could I do for myself now? I have four world titles and great successes but I still want to have fun somewhere’.
“I would be very happy if he had his eye on the DTM. I would go even further and would like to sign him for sustainability.
“He could work during the week, push the topic forward and implement it in the race at the weekend.
“Sebastian is a very clever guy who I always like to see around me.”
One project in particular that Vettel has taken on is with Bio Bienen Apfel, having become an ambassador to raise awareness about creating a safe habitat for bees.
Berger added: “The bees are not as much in the foreground in DTM as in other industries, but there are definitely a few topics he would enjoy with us too.”