Sebastian Vettel says he will be “back” in the Formula 1 paddock at some point but it will be to “have a look” at the racing, not to participate himself.
But then again, he says, “never say never”.
The four-time World Champion said farewell to F1 after the 2022 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, wrapping up his career with one last point to bring his tally to 3098 points. That’s to go with his four Drivers’ titles, 53 race wins and 57 pole positions.
Formula 1, though, hasn’t seen the last of the German.
“I’m sure I’ll be back at some point to have a look,” he told Motorsport.com. “I love the sport, I love the people.
“It will be probably a difficult or weird moment to be there live and not participate. But I guess it’s coming.
“So yeah, I don’t know. I have no plans yet. But I’m sure it will be somewhere, sometime.”
Vettel’s old foe turned friend Lewis Hamilton reckons it’s just a matter of time before the racing bug bites again, telling the 35-year-old “you’re probably going to come back.”
Right now, though, Vettel says no to that.
“I have lots of ideas, lots of things that I want to do and spend my time with, but then I’ll see what happens from there,” he said.
“I guess you can never say never. But I thought about this step for a long time, and it feels like the right thing.
“So I’m very excited about what’s coming, even though there’s nothing signed or set in stone.”
A team principal job in the years to come for Sebastian Vettel?
Vettel’s former team bosses at Red Bull have tipped the German to return to the paddock in a management role.
Helmut Marko revealed to Sky Deutschland: “We had a discussion and I think if he could get a top management position, that might appeal to him. That’s what emerged in the talk.”
Christian Horner agrees, telling PlanetF1.com: “He’s a great people person. He understands the value of people and the contribution they make to success.
“It really depends what he wishes to apply himself to. He’s one of those guys that’s annoyingly good at anything he chooses to do. So I’m sure if he chose that path, he would be very good at it.”
It had some wondering if a Ferrari team boss role could be in his future, and lo and behold Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto followed that up by tendering his resignation.
But, as Marko pointed, taking that job for the 2023 season is a tad too soon for Vettel given he’s only just hung his race suit out to dry.
So for now “we’ll let him plant some trees for once and then we’ll see what happens. He would certainly have the potential and he would have that personality for it,” concluded the Austrian.