Sebastian Vettel hints return to F1 after talks with Mercedes boss

Sebastian Vettel hints return to F1 after talks with Mercedes boss

Sebastian Vettel has hinted a possible return to F1 following talks with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has admitted that he finds a possible return to racing in F1 appealing after confirming talks with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

Mercedes is currently on the hunt for a new driver for 2025 and beyond after Lewis Hamilton confirmed in February that he would be leaving the Silver Arrows to join Ferrari after 11 years driving for the eight-time constructors’ champions.

Vettel—who won his four drivers’ titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013—left F1 at the conclusion of the 2022 season after spending six years at Ferrari and two with Aston Martin. In his later years, he became an activist and was increasingly outspoken on key topics – the environment chief among them.

This has motivated him to advocate for renewable energy sources and launch several global initiatives, such as a bee colony in Suzuka, Japan.

However, the 36-year-old has now hinted that he was considering making a return to the sport after chatting with several team bosses across the paddock. The retired German driver told Sky Sports television he was “potentially” in the market for a 2025 seat.

When asked if he was included in the driver market for 2025, Vettel told Sky Sports on Wednesday: “Potentially I am because I haven’t got a drive, but the question is, am I looking for one? I think it depends on the package.

“I retired from Formula 1 not to come back, but I also did say that you never know. So I think it still stands.”

Mercedes will find itself with an empty seat for 2025 after seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton leaves the team at the end of the season to join Ferrari.

A seat at a top team could help Vettel make a decision to return to the grid as the last German driver to race for the German manufacturer was Nico Rosberg, who retired after winning the 2016 world championship.

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“You never know where life is taking you, so maybe it takes me back behind the wheel, maybe it doesn’t,” said Vettel.

“I’ve had conversations with [Wolff], not really about the seat. We did speak about the whole situation in short as well.

“But I did speak to others as well because I’m still keeping in touch every now and then. I have some projects and ideas together with F1. We’ll see if they will turn out or not.

“So I am staying in touch. I don’t know. It has to be a couple more phone calls and conversations, I guess, to really find out a little bit more. But for sure it’s one of the best seats on the grid.”

Vettel also admits he was caught out by Hamilton’s decision to swap Mercedes for Ferrari after winning six world championships with the team.

“I was surprised, like I guess most of us were,” he said. “But it is exciting. Obviously, he’s looking for a new challenge and it will be different to see him in red, in a different colour.”

After securing four world titles with Red Bull Racing, Vettel switched to Maranello with the aim of achieving even greater success and the opportunity to follow in the footsteps his compatriot Michael Schumacher. He won 14 races over the course of his six-year tenure at the Scuderia.

Vettel recently tested a Porsche 963 Hypercar as part of its preparations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans raising speculations that he could line up in the French classic later this year.

“Maybe, I don’t know yet,” he admitted. “I’ve been testing. I was curious, so I wanted to see how it feels. It’s obviously a different discipline. It’s still racing, but it’s a different car, different discipline.”

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