Helmut Marko predicts a Sebastian Vettel F1 comeback: ‘I don’t think it’s over for him’

Michelle Foster
Sebastian Vettel in conversation at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Goodwood, July 2023.

Sebastian Vettel in conversation at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Helmut Marko believes it’s only a matter of time before Sebastian Vettel returns to Formula 1 in some capacity, perhaps even as a driver.

Vettel walked away from the sport at the end of last season, the four-time World Champion citing time with his family and his environmental concerns as his reasons for hanging up his helmet.

He, however, conceded at the time never say never to a comeback.

Helmut Marko won’t rule out Sebastian Vettel returning to the F1 grid

But while the German went quiet in the months after his retirement, he has since been out and about at various events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Red Bull’s Nurburgring run.

He was also spotted at the Monaco Grand Prix before later visiting Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull garage during the Aussie’s tyre test at Silverstone.

It has Marko suggesting the final chapter in Vettel’s Formula 1 story has not yet been written.

“I think Sebastian feels somehow without a specific task at the moment, doesn’t know exactly what he should do. He has to make a decision somewhere,” he told ServusTV.

The Red Bull motorsport advisor went on to claim: “I think the driver situation is not over for him yet.”

He, however, admits it would be difficult for Vettel to return to the grid with Red Bull given they have Max Verstappen under a long-term contract while Sergio Perez has a deal in place for next season.

Asked about the possibility of putting Vettel in the RB20, Marko replied: “Besides Verstappen, I honestly don’t want to do that to him.

“And now we have contracts. They last for a relatively long time. Perez is fixed until 2024.”

As for Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri, the 80-year-old said: “We already have an experienced driver in Daniel Ricciardo. And when Sebastian comes back, I think he just wants to be in a top team and drive for victories again.”

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Marko believes Formula 1’s move to sustainable fuel would appeal to Vettel who has “understandable green aspects and ambitions.”

Back in May, Vettel was asked about the prospect of returning to Formula 1 in a management role with the driver saying: “I don’t know yet.

“Let’s see what ends up being a project. But so far I’m doing very well with my decision to retire. I do miss the competition and the excitement the most.”

Marko reckons Vettel would do well in such a role.

He told Sky Deutschland: “It is not impossible that he will come back for a top management position. We had a conversation and if he could get a position like that, it could appeal to him. That became clear during the conversation.

“He certainly has the potential and the personality for it, but for now let’s let him plant a few trees.”

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