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Sebastian Vettel

Vettel 'flirts' with the idea of surprise F1 return

The four-time world champion retired at the end of 2022 after 53 wins and spells with Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin.

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Sebastian Vettel says he sometimes "flirts" with the idea of making a surprise comeback to Formula 1.

Since Vettel retired after the 2022 season, he has been touted as sure to make a comeback in the same way Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen all did before him.

The 53-time race winner has been linked with the Mercedes vacancy to replace old title rival Lewis Hamilton, but whilst he does ponder the pros and cons of a return, Vettel feels he must balance his family life with the professional desire to compete.

He has recently tested a Porsche 963 in a Le Mans test, and is toying with running the 2024 Hours, but no firm decision has been made, as links of an F1 return grow.

"Of course you think about it and flirt with it,' Vettel told RTL after his recent Porsche Penske Motorsport Le Mans test of the potential for an F1 comeback.

"Sometimes it’s the case that [one of my children] says: 'Dad, don’t do that, then you’ll be gone so much.

"I really enjoyed the last year-and-a-half and also really enjoyed the time with the children, hopefully, the children did too.

"Maybe the mood will change again, but things are still going very well at the moment. There are also 24 races and beyond that I know from my time how I would like to structure my job if I decided to do it.

"I don't think it's objectionable that there are other interests in my life. Not just people and relationships, but also other things that interest and motivate me."

Vettel also added that he had spoken with Mercedes chief Toto Wolff as he seeks a new driver for the 2025 season, but was firm that no talks "specifically" about a return took place.

"We spoke on the phone,” said Vettel.

"Of course, we also talked about the fact that a lot is happening at Mercedes, but not specifically about the fact that I could take the [seat]."

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