Dr Helmut Marko still isn’t sure if Sebastian Vettel is interested in returning to Formula 1 in a managerial role.
The top Red Bull official, who brought the German and eventual quadruple world champion into the sport as a teenager, recently said he was waiting for 35-year-old Vettel’s winter holidays to end before pushing the idea of a team management role.
“I think he has to find himself first and see what he wants exactly,” Marko told ntv.
“If he were to have a managerial position, that would involve just as much effort and travel as he has already been doing,” the 79-year-old added.
Marko also insisted that Vettel’s role would not be purely ambassadorial, as is more the case with the test role undertaken by his former Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo this year.
“It is not solidarity,” the Austrian said of his interest in Vettel, “but because we know how he works. From the lessons we learned about what Sebastian Vettel can achieve, we know he is an open-minded, intelligent young man.”
Where Red Bull and Vettel might clash, however, is in the German’s more recent adherence to political, social and cultural issues – including his strong environmentalism stance.
As Vettel competed last weekend at the Race of Champions, he told Corriere dello Sport: “I love motorsport but at the same time I am very careful when it comes to the future.
“There are young drivers now and I have kids and I think it was a real privilege to experience the world of motorsport in the way I did. And it would be a shame if it was banned one day for obvious reasons.
“I think going forward, if we want to keep having this sport and cultivating our passion for racing, we have to think of alternatives.
“We can continue to do things as we are used to for a few more years but then we will run into a very big problem,” said Vettel. “So it’s good that the movement is there – people are thinking about how to create a sustainable future.”