Fernando Alonso has offered some cautionary advice to former world champion Sebastian Vettel regarding the potential challenges of returning to the sport.
Vettel, who retired at the end of the previous season, has not ruled out the possibility of a comeback, but Alonso, who himself made a successful return to the grid, has highlighted the hurdles involved.
Vettel, a four-time Formula 1 world champion, announced his retirement at the age of 36, citing his desire to dedicate more time to his passions outside of F1, including his environmental endeavours and spending quality time with his family.
However, he has left the door slightly ajar for a potential return, stating, “I can’t say no because that you don’t know… I can’t exclude it.”
Alonso, who had his own hiatus from the sport, is intimately familiar with the challenges of returning to Formula 1.
After a disappointing stint with McLaren at the close of the 2018 season, Alonso spent two seasons away from the F1 grid, competing in other racing series before making a return in 2021 with Alpine, moving to Aston Martin this season.
At the age of 42, Alonso has enjoyed a resurgence in his career, leading the Alpine team’s charge and currently sitting in fourth place in the drivers’ standings, ahead of seasoned competitors such as the Ferrari duo, George Russell, and Lando Norris.
However, Alonso has issued a word of caution to Vettel, emphasising the difficulties that come with a comeback.
He noted, “So, it’s up to him obviously if he thinks about [it], as I said, I think when Daniel [Ricciardo] came back, it was a challenge.
“It cannot be underestimated.
“Going back to F1, it could be a challenge for sure.”
Vettel’s presence at the Suzuka circuit this weekend, his favourite in Formula 1, has been marked by a unique blend of his love for racing and his commitment to environmental conservation.
He has collaborated with the organization Buzzin’ Corner to construct 11 insect hotels on the inside of turn two, with a particular emphasis on providing a habitat for bees.
Speaking about the project, Vettel explained, “It’s very different and the reason for that is because together with Buzzin’ Corner, we are racing for biodiversity.
“With this project, I want to create awareness around the importance and subject of biodiversity.
“We all know one insect that is very famous, and it’s the bee…
“It’s a perfect ambassador for this project and idea to highlight the importance of biodiversity because it stands not just for the bee, it stands for all the other insects.”