Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko believes Sebastian Vettel’s time as a Formula 1 driver “is not over” just yet, despite the fact he retired at the end of last season.
Vettel retired at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign following a second underwhelming year with Aston Martin, who have since turned a corner with Fernando Alonso at the wheel.
The four-time World Champion opted to retire in order to spend more time with his young family, something travelling across the globe with F1 impacted.
He insisted at the end of last season that he wanted to be there for when his children grow up, with his motorsport appearances this year having been few and far between.
Since calling it a day in F1, Vettel has competed in the Race of Champions and appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, whilst his most recent appearance came last weekend at the Nurburgring.
Vettel participated in the Red Bull Formula Nurburgring event last weekend at the famous Nordschleife, where he completed a demo run in his title-winning 2011 Red Bull.
In doing so, he became the first driver since Michael Schumacher in over a decade to drive an F1 car at the legendary venue.
Vettel has admitted himself that he misses competing against the best drivers in the world, something which has Marko convinced that his F1 career isn’t actually over.
“I think Sebastian feels somehow without a specific task right now, he doesn’t know exactly what he should do,” Marko told ServusTV.
“He has to make a decision somewhere. I think the driver’s time is not over for him yet.”
Whilst Marko believes an F1 return for the German is possible, he’s ruled out Vettel racing for Red Bull again.
The 80-year-old has admitted that with all the contracts they currently have at Red Bull and at sister team AlphaTauri, there just isn’t space for Vettel.
Vettel would only return if it was at a “top-tier team”, meaning his best opportunity might be to try and poach a seat at Audi for 2026.
A German driver is something the German manufacturer are reportedly very keen on, with Mick Schumacher supposedly also being a contender.
“Besides Verstappen, honestly, I don’t want to do that to him and now we have contracts. They last relatively long. Perez is fixed until 2024.” Marko said.
“We already have an experienced driver like Daniel Ricciardo and when Sebastian returns, I think all he wants is to be in a top-tier team and look for wins again.”