Sebastian Vettel’s ‘eyes lit up’ about Mercedes seat as off-camera chat revealed

Has a telling off-camera chat revealed Sebastian Vettel’s true feelings about a possible return to F1?

Sebastian Vettel (GER). Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Race Day.-
Sebastian Vettel (GER). Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese…

Sebastian Vettel’s “eyes lit up” when the possibility of an F1 comeback with Mercedes was mentioned to him, it has been claimed.

That is according to Sky’s Craig Slater, who interviewed the four-time world champion about the possibility of making a shock return to F1, having retired at the end of 2022.

Vettel has found himself linked with the vacant Mercedes seat for 2025, following Lewis Hamilton’s bombshell decision to join Ferrari. The 36-year-old German has admitted he is considering a comeback.

"We had a good talk off-camera, as well as on-camera,” Slater told Sky F1.

“I think he’s a bit conflicted about whether to come back, if he gets the opportunity next season, or not.

“We spoke about the workload, 24 races, about how a lot of staff in F1 are increasingly looking at other series - like WEC - which is not as much of a burden.

“But I think it’s the fact of the potential movement, at the end of this year in the driver market, which means that if the Mercedes seat came along, must he go for it?

“Possibly, potential at Red Bull still.

“And what about the Audi situation? It’s convenient for him because he’s already working with that Volkswagen Group with Porsche in the WEC. He lives in Switzerland, we know.

"I think that’s focusing his mind, right now.

“Maybe the longer it goes on, and maybe some of the other big names get signed up - Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz - then maybe Vettel’s chances of that Mercedes seat improve.

“But his eyes lit up when I mentioned the possibility of it. You could see it. That is a giveaway.

“It’s a long time to be retired, at the age of 36.”

Former F1 strategist Bernie Collins, who worked with Vettel during his time at Aston Martin, suspects he is missing the adrenaline rush.

“One of his reasons for leaving was the list of races, to spend more time with his family, and to focus on the environment which is a passion of his,” Collins said.

“Speaking from my own experience, having left F1, left the pitwall two years ago, you miss the adrenaline, the buzz, the team ethos.

“And I was only on the pitwall for eight years! He’s been racing for his whole life.

“Unless you really fill that gap, there is that desire for competition and adrenaline.

“That doesn’t go away overnight.

“He’s only been out for just over a year. If he hasn’t filled that need to beat the guy next to him? Then there will always be that urge to come back.” 

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