Sebastian Vettel has not ruled out returning to the starting grid just one year after retiring from Formula 1.
The German driver called it quits last year after 15 years in the sport, ending his career at Aston Martin in 2022.
But as former world champions Nigel Mansell, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkon have already done, Vettel has hinted he could make an incredible return to the sport before next season.
When asked by Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle if he would return, Vettel replied: “I can’t say no, because you don’t know that.
“I think if you had asked them all, some of them probably would have said ‘no.’
“And some of them I don’t know, but eventually they all came back, so I can’t rule it out.”
At 36 years old, some might think there is still a lot of room for improvement for Vettel.
Indeed, Alonso is the oldest driver still active and he is in great shape at 42 years old.
It was also the Spaniard who arrived at Aston Martin to replace Vettel last year and helped them climb the standings.
While Aston Martin looked like a mid-table team with Vettel behind the wheel, Alonso currently sits third in the standings behind Red Bull, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
It was a lack of competitiveness that contributed to Vettel’s decision to walk away from the sport, but he admits the right challenge could force him back behind the wheel.
“It will probably depend a lot on the timing, and obviously it’s not forever, because 36 years is not ‘yeah in 10 years’,” he added.
“Maybe I’m thinking about it, then time has passed but it will depend on the challenge, whatever, but it’s not on my mind at the moment.
“And I enjoy the kind of perspective of the challenge of knowing what to do next.
“It will be as I see it, the biggest challenge for any racing driver and the biggest challenge for any sportsman, what do you do next?
“Because naturally, you will be between 30 and 35 years old, between 40 and 45 years old, depending on your sport and your discipline. And then?
“There’s a lot of life left and life can be great even if you’re not racing, you know, the absolute limit in the fastest car in the world, but you can still do a lot of great things that give you great pleasure. “