Former F1 driver Marc Surer believes the environmental advancements made in the World Endurance Championship could make it an enticing project for Sebastian Vettel to try, if he chooses to race in it next season.
The four-time World Champion has been approached by Jota to race a Porsche 963 next season, though a deal has yet to be agreed, with the team ambitiously looking at signing the best possible drivers for its tilt at Hypercars in 2024. Jenson Button and Robert Kubica are also linked with the team.
Vettel retired from Formula 1 last year and has admitted he is missing the thrill of competition, repeatedly stating he cannot rule out a return to the top tier in future.
Sebastian Vettel tipped to race in ‘more environmentally friendly’ WEC
Jota team principal Sam Hignett recently confirmed that talks have taken place with Vettel over a potential 2024 seat, with the World Endurance Championship slightly ahead of Formula 1 in terms of using sustainable fuel in its Hypercar class, with F1 not switching to carbon neutral fuel until 2026.
Coupled with the WEC season only having eight rounds, compared to a record 24 races for Formula 1 next year, Surer believes the endurance schedule could prove to be “a nice compensation” for the German, as he adjusts to life without the demands of the F1 calendar, while looking to scratch his competitive itch.
“[Vettel] perhaps feels with the Hypercars that this is more environmentally friendly than the current Formula 1,” Surer theorised to the Formel1.de YouTube channel.
“The Hypercars already have this modern technology in them. From that point of view, he could perhaps do it with a clear conscience.
“His mental attitude with his environmental activities does not fit in [with F1], so he would have to have a good reason [to return].
“Hypercars are already a step ahead of Formula 1 now, so he could probably get his act together and say, ‘Yes, I have a good excuse there’.”
Vettel has already admitted that he misses racing, having visited the Monaco and Japanese Grands Prix so far this season – and former Arrows, Ensign and Brabham driver Surer thinks he will need to get back out on track in some form.
“I think the ceiling will fall on his head,” he said metaphorically, “because when you’ve been doing top-class sport for so many years and suddenly you’re not doing anything anymore, then you’re missing something.”