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Four-time F1 champion Vettel considering return

Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel - The Canadian Press

Sebastian Vettel, who won four consecutive Formula One titles from 2010-13, told Sky Sports that he was open to a return to racing in 2025.

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

The F1 driver's market was shaken up earlier this year, when Lewis Hamilton announced he would move from Mercedes 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," he said.

Vettel raced for Toro Rosso, Red Bull - with which he won his four championships, Ferrari and Aston Martin in his career. 

With Hamilton's departure opening a spot on the Mercedes team, run by Toto Wolff, rumours swirled about Vettel potentially joining his fifth career maker. 

"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."

When Hamilton completes his move to Ferrari, incumbent driver Carlos Sainz is expected to be left without a team - though his victory at Melbourne in March should leave teams calling for his services.

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.