Vettel appears to have abandoned F1 return chances

"He probably noticed that he wasn’t in great demand"


23 May 2024 - 13:31
Vettel appears to have abandoned F1 (…)

Sebastian Vettel appears to have accepted that he will not be returning to Formula 1.

On the face of it, the quadruple world champion is actually not closing the door completely.

He took his 1993 McLaren to Imola last weekend and put on an elaborate tribute to the late Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger. Afterwards, he told the media: "Of course I’ve thought about returning and I knew beforehand that I would think about it.

"But in the end nothing has changed."

However, the 36-year-old German extensively tested a Porsche hypercar in late March and it seems the only reason he won’t be contesting Le Mans next month is because the marque wanted more experienced endurance drivers.

And former F1 driver Christian Danner said he sensed at Imola that Vettel accepts that he also won’t be returning to Formula 1.

"Firstly, he probably noticed that he wasn’t in great demand," he told "Secondly, I think he realised what it would mean - the energy you have to put into it and the training you have to do for it."

Indeed, Danner said he suspects that Vettel has completely stopped all racing-related personal training.

"When I saw him standing there (at Imola) and shook his hand, I thought he looked a bit pale and gaunt," he said. "He wasn’t bubbly and effervescent like we’ve seen before. I hope he’s well."

Some even overheard some of Vettel’s former rivals pointing out that the former Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin driver no longer has a thick, F1-style neck.

"He can train a lot," Danner said, "but I think reality is speaking clearly for Sebastian.

"I hope he will find that sense of wellbeing that is so difficult to regain when you’re no longer behind the wheel," he added. "That great feeling you get when you drive a Formula 1 car.

"I’m keeping my fingers crossed for him, whatever he does - whether it’s motorsport or something else."


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