Sebastian Vettel has very special memories of Suzuka and half-jokingly announces ahead of his final Japan race: “I would return for Suzuka “
Suzuka is a track that Sebastian Vettel has always described as his favourite and where he has scored four victories. But this weekend will be the German’s last scheduled appearance at Suzuka.
The four-time Formula One world champion had announced in July that he would retire at the end of the season, ending his 15-year career in Grand Prix racing.
Looking ahead to the upcoming weekend, Vettel admits it “feels a bit different” knowing it is his last Grand Prix in Japan compared to other events. He also won his second title here in 2011.
Comeback for a race in Suzuka?
When asked if he would be interested in trying Japanese categories in the future to race at Suzuka again, Vettel says he can “never say never”. “Of course I love driving and I have always felt very alive on this track. The passion has always been very much alive. “
Half jokingly, he doesn’t rule out a one-off Formula One return there either: “We’ll see what kind of car might come in the future. Maybe one of these guys will feel a little bit sick in the future races here, I don’t know.”
“I don’t wish it on them. But I wouldn’t mind racing at Suzuka again any time,” said Vettel, adding with a twinkle in his eye, “Yeah, if someone likes to sign a driver for one race!”
Future after Formula 1 still open
“I’m sure these guys wouldn’t be happy to step down. But it would be something I would seriously consider.” As for his future after his active Formula One career, Vettel has yet to commit.
“We will see what the future brings. At the moment I don’t have any plans. But I think there are some exciting races in Japan,” he says in reference to the original question of whether a return to Suzuka in another category such as Super Formula or Super GT would be an option for him.
Vettel has taken all four of his Suzuka wins with Red Bull, the first in 2009. He is also the last pole-setter for the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix when he was still driving for Ferrari.