Sebastian Vettel issues statement on returning to Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel has been linked with a move to the World Endurance Championship for 2024.

Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel has downplayed the chances of him returning to Formula 1 anytime soon, with him stressing that he’s not going to return just a year after quitting.

Vettel retired at the end of 2022 to spend more time with his family; however, recent appearances in the paddock led to speculation that a return could be on the cards.

Even Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko noted that he didn’t think Vettel’s racing days in F1 were over, with the German himself having insisted that his “age isn’t the issue”.

He has completed several demo runs in F1 machinery this season, most recently at a Red Bull event at the Nordschleife, where he drove his 2011 title-winning car round the legendary venue.

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Vettel did so using sustainable fuel, something he’s working hard to promote.

His most recent F1 appearance came at the Japanese Grand Prix, where he unveiled a special hotel for insects on the inside of Turn 2.

Whilst he’s not racing in F1 his name remains present in the paddock, and whilst he doesn’t completely rule out a return to the grid, he stresses that it’s not happening just yet.

“You can never rule out something like that, but at some point the time will be over,” Vettel told the German Press Agency.

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“My age isn’t the issue and it was my decision to draw the line. But I didn’t draw it just to cancel it a year later.

“I have the privilege of spending more time with my family and my children, that is a priority. Just as I have rediscovered the world in recent years, Formula 1, no matter how big it may be, always has become smaller.”

Whilst a return to F1 looks off the cards currently, he is reportedly in talks about racing for Jota in the World Endurance Championship, in a team with 2009 World Champion Jenson Button and Robert Kubica.

The idea of returning to a racing grid does excite Vettel; however, not returning straight away was his “intention, in a bid to learn about the side of himself away from motorsports.

“I’m excited about that myself,” he said.

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“But that was exactly my intention: not to immediately take on the next task or get into the next cockpit and first get to know the side of me that can try anything and has time.

“I haven’t had that in the past. I live in one phase where you can feel and discover yourself a little differently. At the same time, I really enjoy the time with the family.

“That’s why I can’t give this dream answer as to what will be on my line in the future.”