German F1 legend, Sebastian Vettel, retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season. He won four consecutive championships from 2010 to 2013 and etched his name in the Formula 1 Hall of Fame. While he has no imminent plans to return, Helmut Marko, Red Bull's motorsport adviser, speculated about a possible role for Sebastian Vettel in F1. However, it will not be on the grid.
According to Marko, Sebastian Vettel could take a management position within the team. However, he said there has only been a "chit-chat" with the retiring driver about this. Marko oversees Red Bull's Junior Driver Program and he believes Vettel could fill his spot one day.
Speaking to Sky while on camera with Vettel, quoted by Motorsport-Total, Marko said:
“It’s not out of the question he will come back in a top management position. I’ll be 80 soon. That would be something! We had a discussion and I think if he could get a top management position, that might appeal to him. That’s what emerged in the talk. But now we’ll let him plant some trees for once and then we’ll see what happens."
"He would certainly have the potential and he would have that personality for it. We have heard the message. We have two teams. We are open. But Sebastian, it’s a serious difference – as top management you have to be there earlier, leave later and you only get a fraction of the money you are used to as a driver!”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner agreed that his former driver could one day adapt to a management position. He said:
“He’s one of those guys who is annoyingly good at everything they tackle. I’m sure if he decided to go down that career path, I’m sure he’d be very good at it. He’s a judge of character. He understands the value of people and he understands the contribution they make to success. It’s entirely up to him which topics he wants to devote himself to now.”
Sebastian Vettel has said he wants to take time away from Formula One and spend more time with family before deciding what's next. He said,
"But I will need something to do at some point. Once you are driven like that, it's always like that."
Sebastian Vettel would 'seriously consider' returning to Suzuka for a 'one-race' career
Sebastian Vettel doesn't mind returning to Formula 1 for a one-off race, especially if it were at the Suzuka circuit. He feels that a one-race return as a replacement driver might be seriously worth considering.
Asked during a press conference in Japan if he would consider a potential return next year, Vettel replied:
"Maybe if one of these guys in the future races here feels a bit sick. I don’t know – I don’t wish them to feel so – but I wouldn’t mind jumping back in for a race at Suzuka at any time. But yeah, obviously we will see what the future brings. At the moment I have no plans but I think there are some exciting races happening in Japan and we’ll see."
He had added:
"One race, one-race career in the future. Yeah, if anybody is happy to sign up a driver for a single race! I’m sure those guys wouldn’t be happy to step aside. But it would be something I would seriously consider."
The prospect of this has excited a lot of people. Vettel's moves will be carefully followed across the industry. It is also likely that he could move to a different type of racing, as other drivers have.