Helmut Marko says Sebastian Vettel can return to Red Bull, but with a pay cut

Sebastian Vettel's first racing appearance since retiring from F1 will be at the Race of Champions.

Despite Sebastian Vettel having not even been a retired Formula 1 driver for a week yet, a potential return to the sport is already being discussed for the German.

The four-time World Champion was given a hero’s send-off at the season finale in Abu Dhabi last Sunday, with the 35-year-old having been given a full round of applause by all the drivers.

It is no surprise that he was greeted the way he was, given everything he has done for the sport on the circuit and behind-the-scenes.

With 53 victories to his name, Vettel is the third-most decorated driver of all-time in the championship, highlighting his significance.

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Off the circuit, he has supported and fought for several communities and causes to get them the recognition they need on the biggest stage in the world, most notably environmental change and the LGBTQ community.

He has discussed how excited he is to return home for a while, to spend time with his young family; however, a number of F1 personnel have questioned how long his retirement will last.

A return to the sport isn’t completely off the cards, at least in a management role, perhaps.

Vettel has spoken about how aware he is that driving in F1 is causing the climate many issues, due to the carbon emissions that the sport produces.

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Should he return in a management role, though, then he would be able to use his voice for good once again, as well as remain a powerful figure in the series.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has suggested that the Austrians would be “open” to Vettel returning to Red Bull in a different role, if he’s prepared for a smaller salary.

“We have two teams, so we are open to that,” said Marko.

“His life will definitely be different from the one had had as a driver. He’d come to work earlier, leave later and receive only a small part of a driver’s salary,” he smiled.

Vettel too, hasn’t rejected the idea of returning to the sport in a management role and is “used” to getting up early already, thanks to Marko.

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“It’s ok, I’m used to getting up early with the kids,” Vettel said.

“And when I was in Formula 3, a certain Helmut Marko woke me up at seven in the morning.

“But yes, I know very well that the drivers need to consciously allocate time for rest, while the leaders of the teams are constantly dealing with things.”