Ted Kravitz has made his prediction for where Sebastian Vettel’s F1 career will take him next and he does not believe it will be a driver role.
Vettel is experiencing his first season out of Formula 1 for 17 years having opted to retire at the end of the 2022 season and little has been heard of the four-time World Champion’s future plans.
He is currently spending some much-needed time with his family, breaking his hibernation for a Race of Champions appearance alongside Mick Schuamcher in January, and is in no hurry to make any decision about what might come next.
That does not stop plenty from speculating though and considering Vettel is only 35, there are a lot of options for him to explore.
While him returning as a F1 driver seems unlikely, a return to the sport in some kind of management capacity seems more realistic and Sky Sports’ pit lane reporter Kravitz said the arrival of a certain German car company to the sport could open a door for Vettel.
“We may well see a surprise comeback of Sebastian Vettel this year, but it won’t be as a driver,” Kravitz said.
“I truly believe he has decided not to drive anymore and as a man of integrity, as I know he is, I don’t think he is going to disappoint everybody by going ‘ahh, do you know what, I wasn’t sincere in that, here we go, I am coming back as a driver’. And everybody will go ‘hang on, we said goodbye to you’.
“Possibly Audi, maybe, but I kind of think he will come back to Red Bull. I think he will replace Helmut Marko, that is more likely. As the sort of motorsport advisor.”
Vettel’s move back to Red Bull would see him reunite with the team he enjoyed such success with in the early 2010s and if there was one job that looked perfect for the German, it is the one currently occupied by Helmut Marko.
Marko has been advisor to the Red Bull team since its inception but will turn 80 this month and has already been discussing a possible retirement.
The Austrian experienced a major change last year following the death of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz and the instalment of Oliver Mintzlaff as CEO and Marko said the relationship between the two is different to how it was under the previous regime.
“We met twice,” he told Speedweek.com. “He’s got insights. It remains to be seen how far he will respond to our ideas. Red Bull Racing has always been very independent.
“It’s no longer the case that I report by phone after every practice session and race. The direct, personal and friendly relationship is no longer there. Didi was a visionary, had emotions. I don’t see that anymore.”
Following his not-so-enthusiastic words about his new boss, Marko went on to suggest he was free to walk away at any point.
“I am a free person, I can stop at any time if I’m no longer happy,” he said before issuing the ominous warning: “Wait and see how the future turns out.”
Perhaps, then, Vettel may find himself back in the Red Bull fold sooner rather than later if he wants to be reunited with his old team.