Sebastian Vettel has perfect F1 opportunity after pal Mick Schumacher's decision

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Is Sebastian Vettel truly done with F1? (Image: Getty Images)
Is Sebastian Vettel truly done with F1? (Image: Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel's days of racing Formula 1 cars may be over, but that doesn't mean he has said goodbye to the sport for good.

With four world championships and 53 race wins to his name, Vettel has nothing left to prove in F1. More importantly, the German has come to realise that he has a number of other priorities in his life which are no longer compatible with a career jetting across the globe.

But, as plenty of great racers before him have shown, the itch remains. Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher are among the sport's recent champions who have returned to F1 after initially stepping away.

Vettel is well aware of this and spent his final few race weekends choosing his words carefully and refusing to fully rule out a return one day. Even if he decides not to race in the sport again, there are plenty of other roles in which a man as experienced and intelligent as the 35-year-old could thrive.

He has already said "no thank you" to the idea of commentary. Fair enough, it's not for everyone. Also rumoured has been a return to Red Bull in a management role – an idea Helmut Marko has already said the team would be open to.

Sebastian Vettel warns of looming F1 ban and is "very worried about the future" rridqqieqiqerinvSebastian Vettel warns of looming F1 ban and is "very worried about the future"

But perhaps the role he would be most suited to has just become available. His friend Mick Schumacher has been the man linked heavily with Audi ever since it was announced they would be entering F1, but perhaps Vettel could be the driver the carmaker needs right now.

Sebastian Vettel has perfect F1 opportunity after pal Mick Schumacher's decisionSauber will become Audi's F1 works team from 2026

Despite Audi's debut still being three years away, they are already looking for a driver to help them to prepare for competing. "We want to have a development driver by the end of 2023," declared Adam Baker, the man leading Audi's F1 project.

Describing the ideal candidate, he added: "That he is a fast driver is a priority. It is very important to have someone who has experience to develop our new engine in the simulators we have in Neuburg." Sound like someone familiar?

Audi has already ruled out Schumacher, after he signed with Mercedes as a reserve. Vettel has bags of experience, does not want an F1 race seat, is German – helpful to Audi's marketing and sponsors – won't have to travel too far and already has Sauber links, having made his debut with them back back in the BMW days.

Of course, it will depend on how time-consuming the role will be – but on the evidence we have so far, it seems like a perfect role for Vettel in his post-F1 career.

Daniel Moxon

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