Sebastian Vettel [800x450]
Sebastian Vettel [800x450] (Credit: Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images)

Royals Marsh exits after taking line drive to arm

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has said he is considering a return to Formula One in 2025.

Vettel, 36, retired from F1 at the end of the 2022 season with 53 race wins in a career spanning 16 years.

F1's driver market was sparked earlier this year by Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari in 2025.

When asked if he was included in the driver market for 2025, Vettel told Sky Sports on Wednesday: "Well potentially I am because I haven't got a drive, but the question is, am I looking for one? I think it depends on the package.

"I retired from Formula One not to come back but I did say 'you never know,' so... I think it still stands.

"Obviously there are some things that I miss, which are mostly the competition, and things that I don't miss. That hasn't changed, life is very different if you're not involved [in F1], and I do enjoy that still -- still trying lots of different things."

He added: "You never know where life is taking you, so maybe it takes me back behind the wheel, maybe it doesn't."

Earlier on Wednesday, he told Sky's breakfast programme on returning to F1: "Obviously it does cross my mind -- I do think about it [returning] but it's not the main thought. I have three kids at home. It's busy every day, so there's a lot of other thoughts that I have."

While a seat at Mercedes becomes vacant in 2025, Vettel has already quashed rumours linking him to Toto Wolff's team, adding that he has spoken to others in the paddock about available seats.

"I've had conversations with him [Toto Wolff], not really about the seat -- we did speak about the whole situation in short as well, but I did speak to others as well because I'm still keeping in touch every now and then. I have some projects and ideas together with F1 and see if they will turn out or not, but I am staying in touch.

"I don't know, it has to be a couple more phone calls and conversations to really find out a little bit more. But for sure it's one of the best seats on the grid. Performance-wise Mercedes has a great track record, struggling a little bit in the past few years, but their struggle is still second and third in the constructors' [championship] so it's not like you are racing in no man's land."

As Hamilton moves to Ferrari, Carlos Sainz is left without a seat, though his victory in Melbourne has put him in a strong position to find a drive for 2025. Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso, a two-time world champion, are also out of contract at the end of the season.

Mercedes boss Wolff has said Max Verstappen is top of his list, should the reigning world champion want to leave Red Bull.

Since his departure from F1, Vettel has used his platform to campaign on the issue of climate change and other environmental concerns. Last year at Suzuka he raised awareness of biodiversity with 11 insect hotels, and the kerbs of Turn 11 and Turn 2 were painted black and yellow instead of the usual red and white.

The Japanese Grand Prix gets underway with practice on Friday, April 5.