Sky reported on Sunday during preseason testing that Vettel had offered himself to Aston Martin, the team he represented last year, as a last-gasp replacement for the injured Lance Stroll.

Stroll missed testing in Bahrain and Aston Martin cannot yet determine if he will be fit to drive next week when the first race of the season begins, but it remains their hope that he will be available.

Vettel, the four-time F1 champion who retired at the end of last season, could emerged as a shock option to return to the car without ever actually missing a single race.

Aston Martin boss Mike Krack was asked about Vettel’s return but said: “I will not tell you!

“I have had a couple of phone calls with Sebastian. But this has been also last year, and this will continue in the future.

“It’s our Plan A, obviously, you want to have Lance back in the car. But we have to wait for what he says and what the doctors say.

“The Plan B we have to decide – we have some Plan Bs, but we have to decide the Plan B when Plan A is first. It’s very simple: Can he drive or can he not drive?”

Krack confirmed that Aston Martin were not obliged to use either of their reserve drivers, if Stroll is ruled out of next week’s race.

Their other driver, Fernando Alonso, came under particular praise from Red Bull boss Christian Horner for his pace during testing.