With no championships having been up for grabs at the season finale in Abu Dhabi last weekend, all the focus was on Sebastian Vettel’s farewell race, with the four-time World Champion now officially being a retired Formula 1 driver.
It was a weekend full of celebrations and tributes towards the 35-year-old, who is set to leave an enormous hole at the pinnacle of motorsport.
The 53-time Grand Prix winner is both a fan and driver favourite, with the German having been somewhat of a peacemaker in the paddock.
Lewis Hamilton even arranged a meal for the now former-Aston Martin driver, one which involved all the drivers.
Ex-F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck doesn’t think a driver has ever been given such a fond “farewell”, but that it might be short-lived.
“I can’t remember a driver ever getting such a farewell,” Stuck told Sport1.
“I think he will come back. I can’t imagine that he won’t miss the steering wheel, the combat and the atmosphere. For me, the question is more how long it will take.”
Vettel returning in the future is something that is seemingly believed by a number of current and former drivers, including, Hamilton.
Another fellow German, Ralf Schumacher, thinks after a “year or two” the former Red Bull driver will have the desire and hunger to return to the sport.
“You can see with Nico Hulkenberg and also Fernando Alonso that these guys always want to come back or continue,” Mick Schumacher’s uncle told Sky Deutschland.
“New drivers take a long time to get to Sebastian’s level of vast experience, so I see him already with a chance to come back in a year or two.
“I don’t know if he’ll actually do that, but maybe after a year or two with the family he will have the strength to start a comeback.”
1997 F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve is another who is confident Vettel will return, especially after the number 5 driver actually enjoyed his brightest spell for Aston Martin towards the end of the season.
The Canadian is certain he’s “really going to miss” the sport and will perhaps get “restless” very quickly, due to having so much free time on his hands.
Villeneuve doesn’t necessarily think, though, that he’ll return as a driver, with the Canadian predicting that he may return in a management role.
“It was a tough year for Sebastian but he kept himself busy a lot with things outside racing,” said the Canadian.
“He came back well in the last few races.
“He is really going to miss Formula 1 and I wouldn’t be surprised if he returned in some role or other.
“When you’ve been around for so long, you get to a point where you’re fed up with it. Then you want to be home with your family.
“But after a few months that might change. Maybe he’ll start getting restless again.”