“Everything imaginable at the moment”
Vettel talks about F1 superiority and comeback plans
By Martin Armbruster, Vienna
3/30/2023, 6:58 p.m
The end of his career was only a few months ago, and Sebastian Vettel is just setting himself up in his new life after Formula 1. In an interview with ntv, the 36-year-old reveals who will win the world title this year and what he thinks of the rumors of a quick comeback.
Sebastian Vettel sees few obstacles for Max Verstappen on the way to the Dutchman’s third Formula 1 title. Even before the third race of the season in Australia, you can say “that Red Bull is the absolute favorite,” said the four-time world champion in an interview with RTL/ntv in Vienna. Vettel also does not expect a close team-internal duel between Verstappen and his Red Bull rival Sergio Perez for the World Cup. “It is to be expected that Max will prevail against Checo. I hope there will be no march through, but it looks like it at the moment.”
Vettel does not currently regret his departure from Formula 1 – although his ex-team Aston Martin is racing across the racetracks this year as if transformed and successor Fernando Alonso twice duped the top teams Ferrari and Mercedes in the first two races and deservedly made it onto the podium. “If I were to regret it now, the decision would not have been so good. At the moment I’m doing as well as it will look in six months, I don’t know. It’s part of the journey of discovery that awaits me,” said the 36 -year-olds.
It was initially “a bit strange” to see the green car so fast, Vettel admitted. “But the joy for the team outweighs the fact that the team – and I know the boys and girls – have a better car this year. Of course it’s a lot more fun than if you try very hard and then nothing or nothing countable comes out.”
Aston Martin thought about return campaign
Last year Vettel was mostly hopelessly behind in the Aston Martin, at the end of the season he ended his career in Abu Dhabi after a total of 299 Grand Prix starts for Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin. Vettel said he watched this year’s season opener in Bahrain at the beginning of March as a “completely normal viewer on television”. “Of course with a lot of background knowledge, because of course I know the sport very well.”
“He wasn’t very close to a short-term comeback at Aston Martin at the Bahrain GP,” said Vettel during a question and answer session with several media. At first he didn’t notice anything about his former teammate Lance Stroll’s injury before the start of the season. Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack recently admitted in an interview that he had toyed with the idea of spontaneously bringing his ex-driver back. However, there was no call to the 53-time Grand Prix winner Vettel.
Meanwhile, Vettel is not ruling out a return to the Formula 1 circus. “It’s also possible that I’ll go crazy in six months, can’t stand it on the couch anymore and want to drive again,” said the father of three, who announced his departure at the end of the season in the summer of 2022. In general, “everything is conceivable at the moment,” said Vettel. Helmut Marko had recently let it be known that he could well imagine his former protégé in a role at Red Bull.
Sympathies for the “Last Generation”
Vettel was in Vienna on Thursday as an ambassador for the “Organic Bee Apple” project. It was his first public appearance since the Race of Champions in January, where he represented the German colors together with Mick Schumacher. “I’m happy that I now have a lot more time for what I want. For example, to add to the topic of bees and flower meadows,” said Vettel at a press conference. In the “digital flower meadow” project, anyone interested can use a “blockchain” to acquire a “token” and thus a share in a real flower meadow. This is intended to support the future of bees, especially wild bees, and biodiversity.
In an interview with RTL/ntv, Vettel also commented on the controversial blockade actions of the “last generation” climate activists in Germany. “One can argue whether it is the right action to stick somewhere, but I can express a lot of sympathy for these people who decide to take personal risks, who go so far out of desperation,” said Vettel.
“Of course it’s not right if people don’t come to work or maybe don’t come to the hospital to get their therapy. Of course, that always involves certain risks,” said Vettel, who has repeatedly shown himself to be more involved in the past few years climate protection and the preservation of livelihoods: “But in the end it’s a cry for help, I don’t want to say an act of desperation, of course using the crowbar to reach the people.”