The four-time world champion is attending this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix to help launch his ‘Buzzin’ Corner’ project to raise awareness for biodiversity.
All 20 current F1 drivers on Thursday attended a launch event for the new insect hotels that have been built on the inside of Turn 2 at Suzuka, where the kerbs have also been painted black and yellow in a nod to what Vettel has done.
Speaking about his enthusiasm for the campaign, Vettel said that he was happy in retirement – especially as it had made him realise about life outside of F1.
Asked if there were any second thoughts about an F1 comeback, Vettel said: “Not for now. I mean, I've enjoyed this project.
“It is obviously a small project, but I've enjoyed my time so far this year, and had lots of ideas, and lots of things that I read up on.
“F1 was the centre to my life for so long, but once you step out, you realise even more how big the rest of the world is, and how small in a way F1 is.
“But not to take any excitement from the sport: it's an amazing sport and amazing feeling to drive those cars. So yes, of course I do miss that. But I also feel at some point it's probably time for all of us to move on.”
Vettel explained that the idea for the insect hotels at Suzuka was pitched to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali during his visit to the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year.
While the Suzuka project is a one-off for now, Vettel said he would be open to other race tracks installing similar areas to help raise awareness of biodiversity.
“That would be great, but obviously it's largely dependent on F1's backing,” he said. “Obviously Stefano was very supportive. I pitched the project in Monaco. And he was supportive and confident that we can do it. So yeah, happy that we got it done.
“It was absolutely great to have the support from the other drivers. To get everybody, I think it's quite overwhelming. Also, some team principals, team managers came, it was just the whole community. To have most of them here was great.”
While Vettel is enthused by his biodiversity and climate push, he does not think it has yet become his calling after quitting F1.
“Maybe I'm still waiting for my calling, but it's definitely something that's very close to my heart and very important to me,” he explained.
“It's not my calling, I think it should be, in a way, everybody's calling because rather than talking about insects and forms of life, you can bring it back to talking about us, because we all like to eat. And who's pollinating plants?
“It's all sorts of insects, and if they disappear because we are losing biodiversity fast, we are in the middle of a mass extinction with losing species that we probably haven't understood yet, and so on.
“So, if that decline continues, then basically we will disappear from this planet. And that would be a shame. So, it's not my calling. It should be all our calling.”