Vettel would return to F1 for one-off race at Suzuka

Steven Tee/Motorsport Images

Vettel would return to F1 for one-off race at Suzuka

Formula 1

Vettel would return to F1 for one-off race at Suzuka

By

Sebastian Vettel says he would return to Formula 1 for a one-off appearance if given the chance to compete again at the Japanese Grand Prix in future.

The four-time world champion is retiring at the end of this season and makes his last visit to Suzuka this weekend before stepping away from F1. Despite that, he says he’d be open to racing at the iconic venue in a different category such as Super GT or Super Formula, but also would hope for a call-up if a replacement was ever needed in Formula 1.

“I guess (Super GT and Super Formula) are racing in Suzuka as well, so I don’t know,” Vettel said. “Never say never. I mean, it is a great track for many, many reasons. And who knows what the future brings? I don’t know. Obviously I love driving and I think around this track I always felt very alive and the passion feels very alive. So we will see what type of car maybe in the future will come up.

“Maybe one of the guys, in the future, who races here will feel a bit sick, I don’t know. I don’t wish them to feel so, but I wouldn’t mind jumping back in for a race in Suzuka at any time! We’ll see what the future brings. At the moment, I have no plans. But I think there are some exciting races happening in Japan — we’ll see.”

Asked to clarify if he was serious, Vettel added: “About a one-race career in the future? Yeah. If anybody’s happy to sign up a driver for a single race. I’m sure those guys wouldn’t be happy to step aside but it would be something I would seriously consider.”

Vettel admits there is something special about Suzuka that makes it feel more poignant that he is making his last visit to the circuit as an F1 driver.

“I’ve always loved the track. I think it stands out. It’s my favorite track on the calendar. The calendars have changed over so many years… we’ve added other tracks but from the very first time this has been a special place for me.

“I think just the layout of corner, the first sector. It’s iconic — it’s a figure-eight track, the only one we have, plus then the atmosphere you know? The attention the sport gets when we come here is crazy.

“So, lots of very nice memories. I know that it will be my last time in other places too but here it does feel a bit different somehow. But I look forward to the sessions that we have, every single one of them, and the race on Sunday.”

More RACER