Sebastian Vettel said of all the elements he missed about F1, it is “the competition and the tension” that he misses the most.
In 2023, the four-time World Champion is experiencing life away from the F1 paddock for the first time since 2006 and although he is so far enjoying his free time, there are certain elements he misses.
Vettel’s public appearances have been rare with the German only appearing in a car for the Race of Champions alongside Mick Schumacher in January.
But as for an F1 paddock, Vettel has not yet ventured back since his final race in Abu Dhabi last year. He said he is still enjoying his time away spent with his family but there were two things he missed more than anything.
“After such a long time in racing, I have something like an everyday life for the first time,” he told BILD. “It took me some time to get used to it. Above all, I enjoy the time with my children.
“It was strange at first not to be there. But I get on well with it and follow the sport with great interest.
“So far I’m doing very well with my decision. But what I miss most is the competition and the tension.”
Sebastian Vettel to return to the track at Goodwood later this year
While Vettel’s driving experience has so far been limited to his appearance in Sweden earlier this year, he will climb back into an F1 car for the first time since his retirement when he appears at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.
He will be taking to the circuit in Nigel Mansell’s championship-winning Williams FW14B and Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/8, both of which are from Vettel’s own collection.
It will be Vettel’s first appearance at Goodwood since 2012 when he celebrated his second World Championship by driving his title-winning Red Bull RB7.
“It’s great to be coming back to Goodwood after all these years,” Vettel said.
“I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of some of my most memorable cars which will be running on sustainable fuel over the weekend. I’m a passionate racer and it’s important to me that we continue to enjoy driving iconic racing cars today and in the future, but that we do so in a responsible way.”