Sebastian Vettel has revealed that he has no regrets about retiring from F1, despite his former Aston Martin team experiencing increased success so far in 2023.
Vettel opted to walk away from the sport at the end of 2022 following a 15-year career, while his old squad have gone on to score three podiums with Fernando Alonso in the current campaign.
For now, Vettel is enjoying following Formula 1 from the sidelines.
"I'm currently following it as a spectator – with a lot of insider knowledge of the last few years," Vettel told German outlet Auto Bild.
"I'm interested, of course."
Vettel on life after F1
As things stand, Vettel is content with his life away from F1.
"At the moment I'm doing well in my new situation and I'm looking forward to pursuing things that interest me and immersing myself in different topics," the four-time World Champion explained.
"I'm enjoying time at home with the kids and family. I'm gathering a lot of ideas and drifting before anything more concrete comes out of it."
Vettel feels pleased for Aston Martin amid their recent success and does not have regrets over his decision to quit.
"It's always difficult to predict what will happen next year," he said.
"That's why the joy for the team prevails, of course. I'm pleased that things are going so well. That it will be better than last year was clear, because last year was pretty bad.
"But no matter what scenario takes place now; I made my decision regardless of how it could have gone this year."
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Happy for Alonso
On the idea of former rival Alonso benefitting from his work with the team, Vettel said: "No, I don't see it that way.
"I have no regrets about stepping down. Of course it would be easier if the car wasn't quite as good now, but that's where the joy really outweighs the regret.
"Also for him [Alonso]. He had a few years where he didn't have a good car and so maybe he's having a second spring."
While Vettel contributed to the AMR23, he admits that his impact will lessen over time.
"Of course [there was] the work from last year, but there are quite a lot of people building a car like that and the more time goes by, the less I have to do with it," he added.
Vettel insists that a comeback is "not planned" at the moment, with his current concern being the health of the environment.
"That should be a concern for all of us," the 35-year-old said. "We are dependent on nature and everyone can make their contribution."
Balve Baines is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Australian Grand Prix.