Sebastian Vettel has downplayed recent comments by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko regarding a return to Formula 1, insisting “there are no plans” for a comeback.
The four-time World Champion retired from F1 at the end of last year, after spending two years with the Aston Martin team.
Since then, Vettel has been spotted at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix and was also seen in the Red Bull garage at Silverstone ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s tyre test outing.
Speaking to Austrian television station ServusTV, Marko recently claimed he doesn’t think Vettel is done with racing entirely.
“I think Sebastian feels somehow without a specific task at the moment, doesn’t know exactly what he should do. He has to make a decision somewhere,” he expressed.
“I think the driver situation is not over for him yet.”
But the Austrian ruled out Vettel embarking upon a return with the Red Bull team he achieved most of his F1 success with.
“Besides Verstappen, I honestly don’t want to do that to him”, Marko said when asked about Vettel driving for Red Bull again.
“And now we have contracts. They last for a relatively long time. Perez is fixed until 2024.”
Meanwhile, Marko also dismissed the potential for Vettel to become an experienced fixture in the ranks of Red Bull’s second-string squad, AlphaTauri.
“We already have an experienced driver in Daniel Ricciardo. And when Sebastian comes back, I think he just wants to be in a top team and drive for victories again,” he stated.
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Vettel was in attendance at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, where he got back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car: his 2011 championship-winning Red Bull.
The 53-time F1 race winner recorded 11 victories with the RB7 12 years ago, scooping the second of four consecutive Drivers’ Championships he would win.
Continuing on with his quest to promote sustainability within racing, Vettel’s run was once again conducted using e-fuels.
Reflecting on the experience, Vettel told Der Westen: “It is a good feeling. It’s a bit of a time travel and nostalgic, because a lot of memories come up again. For me it is – egoistically speaking – a great opportunity and experience to sit in the car and feel it.
But I think it combines my joy. On the one hand, everything that resonates with nostalgia, but on the other hand there is also the possibility of making the whole thing a little more responsible with e-fuels and ‘Race without Trace’.
“It’s important to me to show that everyone can have fun, but that you at least try to think about alternatives and don’t say: ‘It goes on like this forever’, but rather take it into account and think about it on a large and small scale. what you can do.
“I believe that the e-fuels that we now have in cars may not be the general solution for everything, but it is a first step and a sign that we as a motorsport community can think about it. If we care so much about our sport, then we should strive to preserve it.”
The ex-Red Bull and Ferrari racer also revealed he will be in attendance at this month’s F1 Japanese Grand Prix.
Questioned on what projects lie ahead for him over the coming months, Vettel replied: “We have something bigger planned in Japan. This is a first step to reach out a bit. I am very excited. Then we have a few smaller things running in the background and a lot of ideas.”
Pressed on whether he could disclose more details, he added: “It takes place as part of the Formula 1 race. It’s not ready yet, it’s still a bit early. The basic tone is clear: the fight against the climate crisis and drawing attention to it.”
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