Sebastian Vettel may make F1 return at season-opening Bahrain GP

Sebastian Vettel to retire from F1 at end of season

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Sebastain Vettel could be set to make a shock Formula 1 return at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix just three months after retiring from the sport. Vettel announced himself as a legend of F1 throughout his career, winning four world championships in the process.

The German called time on his 16-year stay in the F1 paddock, after emotionally retiring at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November of last year. With the 2023 season now just around the corner, Vettel could well be set to cut his retirement short.

This comes following the injury of former Aston Martin team-mate Lance Stroll. Stroll missed pre-season testing earlier this week after picking up injuries after being involved in a cycling accident.

It remains unknown as to whether he will be fit enough to drive in the 2023 campaign opener in Bahrain next week, but Aston Martin boss Mike Krack is no doubt keen to have his man behind the wheel come race day. If he fails a fitness test though, Krack will need to find a last-minute replacement.

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The obvious replacement to come in for Stroll would of course be official team reserve driver Felipe Drugovich, having already driven the car in testing. If the 24-year-old’s absence stretches towards the second outing in Saudi Arabia, Krack could well opt for Vettel.

Revealing to Autosport that he had discussed the idea with Vettel, the team principal said: “I have had a couple of phone calls with Sebastian. But this has been also last year, and this will continue in the future.”

Discussing the prospects of the German featuring if Stroll’s absence is a prolonged one, he added: “I mean, this is very, very hypothetical. First of all, our plan is to have Lance in the car. And then we continue to see because we have Bahrain first before we speak about Jeddah. 

“We have not made the final decision. That’s the point. Don’t forget one thing. He had a very, very thorough plan in mind for his retirement. And, you know, I think this is also something that you have to respect. So let’s see what’s happening.”

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