Former F1 driver and current Sky Sports pundit Karun Chandhok has stated that his ‘gut feeling’ is that Sebastian Vettel will not return to the sport in the coming years, despite recent speculation linking him to a sensational comeback.
The legendary German driver called time on his F1 career at the end of last season following a difficult two years in the midfield with Aston Martin. Vettel was drafted in to push the team forward after their rebrand from Racing Point, but the four-time world champion struggled to produce consistent results.
After two years yielded a minimal advantage over team-mate Lance Stroll, Vettel decided that the time was right for him to depart the sport for good. However, after recent comments in an interview with Martin Brundle, it appears that the German driver is at least considering a return to the grid.
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Speaking to Sky Sports News about Vettel’s future, Chandhok said: “I don’t to be honest. My gut feeling is, [when] I met Sebastian at the Festival of Speed, he was there with his family. They’d driven over from Germany in a camper van to England in the summer, and I think he was just enjoying his time with his three kids.
“So the gut feeling I had is he won’t come back, but you never know, right? At the end of the day, as I was saying before, as a racing driver you love driving race cars. He’s got some nice toys that he’s been out demonstrating and driving, including at the weekend where he met Martin [Brundle] driving a Red Bull.
“But the difference between going out there and having a bit of fun with some of your cars and actually competing in Formula 1 at the highest level, the time and energy and commitment it takes is very different. And I think, to me, he’s enjoying just having the opportunity to drive cars on his terms in his time, rather than being here 24/7.”
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If Vettel did decide to make an unprecedented return to the F1 grid then he would be limited in terms of options. The 2024 grid is nearly set, making 2025 or 2026 the most likely points of return for the legendary German. Of all the options, the Audi project will be of particular interest.
Speaking to Martin Brundle of Sky Sports F1 about a return, Vettel said: “I can’t say no, because that you don’t know. I think it’s something that if you asked all of them, probably some of them would have said ‘no’. And some of them I don’t know, but in the end, all of them came back, so I can’t exclude it.”
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