Sebastian Vettel return prediction as Max Verstappen theory dismissed – F1 news round-up

Oliver Harden
Red Bull World Champions Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.

Red Bull F1 icons Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.

Friday’s full-throttle thrill through the main F1 news headlines leads with Red Bull icons past and present, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.

Vettel has been mentioned by F1 fans among the names to become Verstappen’s team-mate in 2025, while a former colleague of Verstappen has dismissed theory that he has an unfair advantage over his F1 team-mates. Food for thought, Seb?

Hold on tight, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride…

Sebastian Vettel to return as Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate?

Four-time World Champion Vettel was among the names mentioned as we asked F1 fans at Autosport International who should be Verstappen’s team-mate in 2025.

Vettel retired from F1 at the end of 2022 after spells with Ferrari and Aston Martin, but after a 2023 in which his highlights seemed to be demoing old F1 cars there remains a suspicion that he is not yet done with the sport.

With Sergio Perez’s contract expiring at the end of this year, Vettel was one of the names in the frame when fans spoke to On Track GP, the YouTube channel launched in collaboration between PlanetF1.com and DR Sports.

The full video is available to watch at the bottom of this article.

Read more: Sebastian Vettel to return, Perez mid-season swap and more Red Bull predictions

Max Verstappen theory rubbished

Former Toro Rosso manager Graham Watson has denied that Verstappen was ever given better equipment than his F1 team-mates, arguing that he was simply faster.

With Verstappen monstering most of his Red Bull team-mates, some have speculated that the three-time World Champion has been given preferential treatment over the course of his career.

But Watson believes it is simply a matter of talent, not favouritism.

Read more: Max Verstappen ‘better equipment’ theory settled by former team manager

Ferrari to take unique path with F1 2024 car?

Ferrari have dropped a huge hint that they will adopt a different F1 2024 car concept to the Mercedes W15 in the race to catch World Champions Red Bull.

The suspension – and the way it interacts with the car’s complex underbody – has emerged as a key element of the modern ground-effect F1 cars, with Adrian Newey and Red Bull mastering the technical challenge.

James Allison has been open about the fact that Mercedes are focusing heavily on this area, but Ferrari technical director Enrico Cardile is sounding a very different tune.

If Ferrari’s 2024 car proves to be a major disappointment, this may be a remark Cardile lives to regret…

Read more: Ferrari hint at different concept to Mercedes W15 in race to catch Red Bull

Bernie Ecclestone takes aim at Lewis Hamilton

Ex-Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone claimed Lewis Hamilton “failed” in a rough 2023 – and that Mercedes would not have gone winless with Verstappen at the wheel.

As Verstappen eased to a third successive title in 2023, Hamilton was left to rue a second consecutive winless season.

He remains without a win since the penultimate round of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia, with Verstappen winning 44 of the last 66 races.

Read more: Lewis Hamilton ‘failed’ as Bernie Ecclestone drops huge Max Verstappen-Mercedes claim

Lando Norris tipped to challenge Max Verstappen in 2024

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes Lando Norris could be “the one” to take the fight to Verstappen in F1 2024.

Norris is on the brink of his maiden F1 victory having equalled his best-ever result on six occasions last season.

With McLaren poised to build on 2023’s impressive revival, Schumacher is banking on Norris to challenge Verstappen for the title.

Read more: Ralf Schumacher picks surprise ‘the one’ who could challenge Max Verstappen