“Dad, don’t do that”: Vettel struggles with returning to Formula 1 because of children

“Dad, don’t do that”
Vettel struggles with returning to Formula 1 because of children

This isn’t the first time Sebastian Vettel has thought about resigning. But there are reasons why he doesn’t want to be a Formula 1 driver. But that can change, reveals the four-time F1 world champion in an ntv/RTL interview. And then there is the “Le Mans myth”.

Also because of his family, a quick return to Formula 1 is currently out of the question for former world champion Sebastian Vettel. “Yes, sometimes it’s the case that a little person says, Dad, don’t do that. Then you’re away so much,” the 36-year-old told ntv/RTL: “I think that I’ve just been in the last almost year and a half I enjoyed it very intensively, also with the children, and hopefully the children too.”

At the end of 2022, the four-time Formula 1 world champion hung up his racing gloves and left the premier class after more than a decade and a half. An almost two-year break followed, during which Vettel devoted himself to his family and other topics outside of motorsport. But recently the German was seen again in a fast car and extensively tested the Porsche 963 from the World Endurance Championship (WEC). Hope immediately arose among many fans: Is Vettel possibly driving in the 24-hour classic in Le Mans – or will we even see him regularly as a racing driver again soon? “I don’t know that yet, that’s the honest answer,” said Vettel in response to a corresponding question in an exclusive interview with ntv/RTL (in full length in the Nachtjournal Spezial on RTL on Thursday night at 12:25 a.m).

In addition to a racing comeback in the World Endurance Championship, Vettel was recently considered a candidate for the Mercedes Formula 1 team’s cockpit, which will be vacant in 2025. When asked whether he had already spoken to Silver Arrows team boss Toto Wolff, Vettel said: “We spoke on the phone, but not specifically about the fact that I could take the place, but rather that a lot is happening at Mercedes.” He still has “a bit of plans for Formula 1 this year,” Vettel revealed, without giving any further hints, but was probably referring to a project rather than a cockpit, and added: “It will work out still show whether that will take place.”

Porsche drive “completely different”

So no comeback in Formula 1? Vettel didn’t want to completely block his path. “Of course you think about it and flirt with it. But when I made the decision back then, I had several reasons for it.” The point has not yet come where he absolutely wants to go back, says Vettel. “That’s not an issue at the moment.” But he doesn’t want to rule anything out. But first the children have priority.

Vettel used the previous test phase in the Porsche in the last few weeks as an opportunity to “pursue his curiosity and feel what a long-distance car feels like.” His friend and former F1 colleague Mick Schumacher, who is currently active for Alpine in the WEC, brought him into it. Vettel’s conclusion: The drive in the Porsche “was really an enriching experience, the cars are completely different, it was the first time I drove a racing car with a roof after not sitting behind the wheel for a long time.” That was nice, but: “I don’t know what will come of it yet, I have to feel a little bit about it now. Time will tell.” He has no time pressure.

Nevertheless, Vettel admitted that the “myth of Le Mans” would certainly appeal to him, but the classic was not “the big goal or the big dream” in the past, he added.

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