Sebastian Vettel Hints at Possible F1 Return Amid Audi Speculation

Four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel hasn’t slammed the door shut on a potential return to the sport. The German driver retired at the end of 2022, but speculation about a comeback continues to simmer.

Vettel’s career began with Toro Rosso in 2008 before his move to Red Bull, where he etched his name into history as only the third driver (following Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher) to claim four consecutive championships. In 2015, he fulfilled a lifelong dream by joining Ferrari.

Despite securing 14 Grand Prix victories with the Scuderia, the ultimate prize, a championship with Ferrari, remained elusive. A shot at the title appeared promising in 2018, but costly errors dashed those hopes. Ferrari opted to part ways with Vettel after the 2020 season, bringing in Carlos Sainz to fill the vacant seat. Vettel then spent his final two years racing for Aston Martin.

Recent reports link Vettel to the vacant seat at Mercedes left by Lewis Hamilton. The 36-year-old reportedly feels he maintains the physical fitness required for F1 competition, recently testing a Porsche hypercar and taking the wheel of Ayrton Senna’s iconic 1993 McLaren at Imola.

However, according to, Vettel might be eyeing a future with Audi rather than Mercedes. The German manufacturer is slated to join the grid in 2026 after acquiring Sauber, and they’ve already secured the services of experienced driver Nico Hulkenberg.

While Vettel remains a wildcard option for Mercedes, many believe a return is increasingly unlikely. Formula 1 pundits like Sky Sports commentator David Croft and former Aston Martin colleague Bernie Collins suggest that Vettel may be past his prime, citing a decline in performance before his retirement.

Vettel’s early 2010s dominance mirrored the current reign of Max Verstappen. He clinched titles in 2011 and 2013, the latter featuring a record-tying nine consecutive victories. Only time will tell if the legendary driver will make a surprising return to the pinnacle of motorsport.