Sebastian Vettel is “happy” to see Fernando Alonso succeeding at his former team Aston Martin, and while he has no regrets over leaving Formula 1, he did not rule out a return.
It was before the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix that Vettel dropped the bombshell announcement that he would retire from Formula 1 at the end of that season, making his second campaign with Aston Martin his last with the team and in Formula 1.
Back then Aston Martin were a team fighting towards the lower end of the midfield, though showing signs of better days to come in the closing stages of 2022, after Vettel had confirmed his retirement.
But, it would seem that Lawrence Stroll’s vision of title success for his team is now progressing rapidly, with Aston Martin having now shot up to the higher positions of the grid at the start of F1 2023, Vettel’s replacement Alonso having made the podium at all three races so far.
So, does seeing what the team has become trigger any feelings of regret for Vettel?
“I don’t regret (leaving F1 and Aston Martin),” he began as per Motorsport.com when speaking at an Bio Bienen Apfel event, the organisation for whom he serves as an ambassador.
“The first thing, of course, is joy, which is more important than anything else.
“I know the team very well from the last few years and I’m happy that they are doing so well. That 2023 was going to be a better year than last season I think was obvious, because last year was pretty bad, so it was expected. Of course, you never know what the others are doing, but it was going to be better.
“But no matter what’s happening now, I thought it through and made my decision, regardless of how things might have gone this year.”
And to that point, rather than feeling aggrieved by Aston Martin’s surge, Vettel instead is happy to see Alonso thriving in his new environment.
The career decisions of the two-time World Champion have at times been questioned in the past, but right now leaving Alpine for Aston Martin is looking like a masterstroke.
“I’m happy for him,” said Vettel. “I think there were actually many years where he didn’t have a good car, and yes, now he’s living that second spring or honeymoon.”
But, with Vettel now approaching five months into his F1 retirement, is he feeling the itch to return to the grid and chase a “second spring” of his own?
Well, while he has made it clear that he does not feel any regret over his retirement call, this does not mean that a return to the grid is a definite no.
“I think it’s very difficult to know what will happen next year,” he stated.
Aston Martin currently find themselves P2 in the F1 2023 Constructors’ Championship with 65 points on the board after three rounds, 45 of those scored by Alonso.