Bernie Ecclestone insists Sebastian Vettel won’t return to Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel is reportedly available to replace Lance Stroll at Aston Martin in Bahrain this weekend.

Former Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone believes retired four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel would’ve “waster another ear of his life” had he remained in F1 this season, with the former F1 supremo labelling Vettel as someone who “is not happy” when he loses.

The retired German has popped up in F1-related news ahead of this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, with it having been revealed by Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft that Vettel “offered his services” to Aston Martin, given Lance Stroll’s injury.

Stroll was ruled out of pre-season testing following a “minor accident” whilst cycling in Spain, resulting in the Canadian being replaced by reserve driver and 2022 Formula 2 World Champion Felipe Drugovich.

The son of Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is now a huge doubt for the first round of the season this weekend, resulting in the rumours regarding Vettel.

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Despite the rumours, the Silverstone-based team have confirmed that Drugovich will replace Stroll should he still not be fit, meaning Vettel won’t be making a shock appearance.

Team Principal Mike Krack revealed that there had been talks with their former driver, who would’ve started his 300th Grand Prix had he been selected to replace Stroll should he be declared as unfit.  

Ecclestone, though, believes any talks between Krack and Vettel wouldn’t have been serious, with the 92-year-old being certain that the 35-year-old is “done” with the pinnacle of motorsport.

“No, I don’t think so,” Ecclestone told DPA.

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“He’s done with it. He won four world championships and, because of his age, he wouldn’t have won seven.”

Ecclestone actually thinks that Vettel “did the right thing” by choosing to retire from F1, with the German having been unable to compete for victories.

It does seem somewhat coincidental that Vettel’s first F1 season since retiring is the year that Aston Martin look set to challenge the leading trio, with many wondering if he would’ve opted against retiring, had he known that Aston Martin were about to become a threat to the leaders.

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“He is a world champion, so he has to compete with other world champions,” said former F1 supremo.

“If he couldn’t be in a car capable of winning the world championship, he would have just wasted another year of his life.

“He doesn’t like to lose. If he loses, he is not happy,” Ecclestone added.