Sebastian Vettel ‘ready’ for F1 comeback on one condition as Helmut Marko issues update

Oliver Harden
A close-up shot of Sebastian Vettel with a prominent Mercedes logo alongside him

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Sebastian Vettel is “ready” to mount a sensational F1 comeback in the near future – but only if he has the chance to drive a race-winning car.

That is the view of long-serving Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko, who has reiterated his stance that Vettel will not be considered by the reigning Constructors’ Champions if he does decide on a return.

Sebastian Vettel ‘ready’ for F1 comeback amid Mercedes links

Having won four consecutive titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, Vettel brought the curtain down on his glittering career at the close of the 2022 season.

However, the former Ferrari and Aston Martin driver – still only 36 – has displayed a growing willingness to return to racing over recent weeks, testing Porsche’s 963 hypercar last month with a view to racing in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours event.

Following Lewis Hamilton’s announcement earlier this year that he will join Ferrari on a multi-year contract from next season, Vettel has been considered an outside candidate to replace the seven-time World Champion at Mercedes in 2025. recommends

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Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team boss, did little to calm the speculation over a move for Vettel at the recent Japanese Grand Prix, admitting the four-time World Champion is “never a name you can discount” and “needs to be part of any discussions going forward.”

Vettel struck up a close bond with Marko during his peak years at Red Bull, where he collected 38 of his 53 career victories between 2009 and 2014.

Speaking in Shanghai ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, where Vettel claimed the first of Red Bull’s 116 F1 wins in 2009, Marko has indicated that Vettel is ready to return to F1 if presented with the right opportunity.

He told Sky Germany: “I think he wants it if he sees the chance to get a top car somewhere.

“Then he’s ready for it.”

Red Bull could potentially have two available seats for 2025, with Sergio Perez out of contract at the end of this season and reports persisting that Mercedes are pushing hard to sign Max Verstappen as Hamilton’s successor.

Having insisted last week that Vettel is “not an option” for Red Bull, Marko has doubled down on his comments by adding that Vettel has been “out of the [F1] window for over a year and there are no longer that many top seats [available].”

Marko’s latest comments come after Urs Kuratle, the head of Porsche’s World Endurance Championship operation, revealed the German manufacturer are expecting an imminent decision from Vettel on whether he will race the 963 hypercar.

He said: “We have read in the media that he is in talks with several people. But we only know that he has not yet decided what he will do.

“We also do not know if he will run again, where and when. That will be known in the coming days or weeks.

“So we also don’t know if he will race with us in the future.”

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