Sebastian Vettel reveals what he would need to seriously consider F1 comeback

Thomas Maher
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 2015 Australian Grand Prix.

Will he be back? Sebastian Vettel on the podium at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, alongside Arnold Shwarzenegger.

Sebastian Vettel has said a comeback to F1 “might be appealing and interesting” if he’s willing to put in the big commitment to the sport once again.

The German driver retired from Formula 1 at the conclusion of the 2022 season but has kept his motorsport interest alive following a recent test with the Porsche Penske Le Mans squad.

Sebastian Vettel: It really depends on the full package

Vettel has never ruled out the possibility that F1 may prove too alluring to ignore while on the sidelines, with the four-time F1 World Champion retiring in order to spend more time at home with his young family.

The German climbed back behind the wheel of a high-end racing car last week when he headed to Aragon Motorland in Spain for a long test with Porsche ahead of their Le Mans 24 Hours entry this summer.

But, with plenty of seats available on the F1 grid in 2025 – including Red Bull and Mercedes – could Vettel be genuinely tempted back into an F1 cockpit next season?

Certainly, Vettel isn’t ruling it out, and said he could be swayed by the right offer, should one come along.

“The better the car, the better the team, the more exciting it is in terms of, you know, having the prospect of being successful,” he told The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X.

“It is obviously… I’m following the sport, I see what’s going on. And it 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.

“So, to seriously consider I think, it would very much of course depend on the package.”

Seemingly referring to older drivers like Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton still racing and signing deals, Vettel said: “From an age point of view, I feel bloody young with all the guys that [I was] raised with still hanging around and signing big contracts, being around for longer!

“It looks like I could have another 10 years in the sport!”

With Vettel becoming an ambassador for the new UK energy drink Perple, the German laughed: “So I’m definitely ahead of them in terms of keeping fit and energised with the right drink in the bottle in case I return.”

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Sebastian Vettel: It’s a decision I take for myself and my family

With Vettel; a happy family man, spending time at home with his young children and wife, he made it clear that he’s very much enjoying the slower pace of life his withdrawal from F1 has afforded him.

He pointed out just how much time he wasted by being on the road as an F1 driver, on top of the simulator work and the racing itself.

“I calculated how many hours a year I [was] spending in a plane without getting to the airport, without checking in, waiting. So it turned out it was, at the time – this is some years ago – it was one month straight. So, that’s 30 – it was 29.8 or something – 30 days straight in the plane.

“Then you do [the] simulator, and then that’s another 20 to 30 days a year. And then you do your race, and then you do your testing, and then you do your promotional activities. So, the actual time inside the car is quite little compared to all the other stuff going on. But I loved it. It is a great life.

“But with all of the things, it’s never as flashy as they look from the outside, when you just see that little bit, the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot of work behind, there’s a lot of engineering meetings, you know, a lot of things to try and get better, training, lots of boring sessions. Everything that’s part of a normal job as well.”

Vettel revealed that his Le Mans test was a “cool experience” but said it would be a “big ask” for him to do Le Mans this year, despite Porsche still having two unconfirmed seats available in their third car: “I don’t think it’s realistic. But maybe… I did test, a hypercar they’re called nowadays – basically a Le Mans car – the other day, and it was very exciting, very different to have a roof over your head.”

With Vettel seemingly chomping at the bit to get back behind the wheel of a racing car, how much influence does his family have on his decision making?

“It is a decision that I take for myself, but I take for the family as well,” he said.

“So, the kids have already said that they love it the way it is now. Yeah, and they wouldn’t really support big time to go back but they said that without asking, to be honest.

“But yeah, it would be something that, you know, with depending on the car now, it will be something that we discuss together obviously.”

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