Sebastian Vettel admits that he found it “extremely difficult” to watch Formula 1 at the Suzuka Circuit from the side of the track.
Vettel has long listed the Japanese track as his favourite in F1 and even suggested that he would be tempted to return as a one-off at the track.
The four-time World Champion opted to retire from F1 at the end of last season, bringing the curtain down on one of the most successful careers in the history of Grand Prix racing, with 53 wins currently good enough for third on the all-time list behind Lewis Hamilton (103) and Michael Schumacher (91).
Vettel is back at Suzuka this weekend and has been promoting the importance of insects and biodiversity, erecting a bee hotel on the inside of Turn 2.
During Friday practice, he took to the side of the track to watch the cars - admitting that it was difficult to do so.
“I knew it would be hard to watch here,” he told Sky Sports Germany. Of course, it's extremely difficult here.
“After all, it's my favourite track and I said it last time: I would never mind a comeback just for here.
“I mean, it's tough just standing here now knowing how it feels when you're in the car now."
Vettel is a four-time race winner around the Suzuka Circuit, last prevailing at the event in 2013 during his last title-winning campaign with Red Bull.