Four-time world champion Vettel retired from F1 at the end of the 2022 season, after announcing his intention to hang up his helmet in July.
The German driver has had stints with Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin in F1, and has had a big impact in recent years speaking out on important topics such as environmental and social rights.
Vettel was recognized for his contribution to F1 and motorsport by receiving the Gregor Grant Lifetime Achievement Award at the Autosport Awards on Sunday evening in London.
Speaking after his victory, Vettel was sure he would return to the F1 paddock in the future and admitted it would be strange to be on a track and not racing.
“I’m sure I’ll be back at some point to take a look,” Vettel told Autosport.
“I love sports, I love people. It will probably be a difficult or weird time to be there live and not participate. But I guess it’s coming.
“So yeah, I don’t know. I don’t have any projects yet. But I’m sure it will be somewhere, someday.
Vettel’s former title rival Lewis Hamilton was sure he would return to F1 and race one day, telling the German at the Abu Dhabi press conference: “You will probably come back.”
But Vettel has made it clear he is yet to decide what he will do after retiring from F1, as well as wanting to spend time with his young family.
“I have a lot of ideas, a lot of things I want to do and spend my time with, but then I’ll see what happens from there,” Vettel said when asked about the Hamilton’s comment.
“I guess you can never say never. But I thought about this step for a long time, and it seems like the right thing to do.
“So I’m very excited about what’s to come, even though there’s nothing signed or set in stone.”
Receiving the Gregor Grant award capped an emotional few weeks for Vettel, who has been the subject of many tributes from the racing world.
Sebastian Vettel on stage to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award from journalist Luke Smith alongside presenter Naomi Schiff
Photo by: Nils Jorgensen / Motorsport Images
The 20 F1 drivers went out to dinner in Abu Dhabi to mark Vettel’s last race, while Vettel also held a group run for the paddock around the Yas Marina Circuit to say goodbye.
Vettel said the Gregor Grant award was “more than a trophy” after receiving two standing ovations as he accepted the honor on Sunday night.
“The reception in the hall was amazing,” Vettel said. “It’s a bit awkward – a lifetime, obviously I’ve been here for a while, but maybe not a lifetime yet!
“But still, obviously I’ve been very privileged to know so many people, to work with so many people and to have such a great time on and off the track. There’s probably a lot I’ll miss.
“It means the world to me. I already have a similar trophy for driver of the year, so I’ll add it and probably put it on top.