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Could Sebastian Vettel make a sensational F1 comeback?

All aboard the hype train! Retired four-time champ confirms he is “thinking about” a return

Published: 05 Apr 2024

F1 silly season could be about to go loco: Sebastian Vettel has confirmed that he is weighing up the idea of making an improbable return to the F1 grid next year, having hung up his helmet at the end of 2022. Woah!

The grid for 2025 is already in a state of flux now that Lewis Hamilton is Ferrari-bound: Australia GP winner Carlos Sainz and Aston’s Fernando Alonso are both free agents, and there are question marks hanging over the futures of Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon, to name but a few.

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Heck, even Max Verstappen has said that he could move on from Red Bull if the power struggle between team boss Christian Horner and several other key personnel isn't resolved to his liking. Whether you believe he'd give up a championship-winning car is another question entirely...

Anyway, now you can throw Vettel into the mix as well. “I’m following the sport at the minute there’s quite a lot of movement when it comes to drivers, driver market and so on,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “For sure I’m having thoughts that are crossing my mind, and I’m thinking about it.”

A word of caution though. He also added: “But at this stage my mindset generally hasn’t changed. It really depends on what’s coming up.”

In other words, only a really good offer is going to tempt him back. Seb explained that he speaks regularly to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, and it just so happens that Mercedes has a seat available next year.

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Wolff... hasn’t ruled it out. “Sebastian is someone that you can never discount,” said the Austrian ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. “I think his track record is phenomenal. And sometimes maybe taking a break is also good to re-evaluate what's important for you and refine your motivation.”

Mercedes’ options are rumoured to include Alonso - who, er, got into trouble in Australia by brake testing George Russell, at least in the eyes of the stewards - and 17-year-old prodigy Kimi Antonelli, who made his debut in the junior F2 championship earlier this year.

“As I said before, we haven't taken the decision yet. And it's not something that we plan to do in the next few weeks. I know that the driver market is very dynamic. Some of the really good guys are about to sign for some of the other teams. We want to continue to have these discussions and keep the options open.

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“But at that stage, I think it's much too early for us to commit to a driver, whether very young or very experienced.”

Would you like to see Vettel back on the F1 grid? Or would you rather see him tearing it up at Le Mans?

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