Sebastian Vettel has put Mercedes and Red Bull on notice that a return to Formula 1 “depends on the package”.

The retired four-time F1  champion has been mentioned as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

But Red Bull, where his glory days were spent, might also require a stellar new driver if they unexpectedly lose Max Verstappen.

Vettel opened the door to a comeback ahead of this weekend’s F1 Japanese Grand Prix.

Asked by Sky if he is in the driver market for 2025, Vettel replied: “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 1 not to come back, but I also did say that you never know. So I think it still stands.

“Obviously, there’s things that I miss, which is mostly the competition. And things that I don’t miss, so that hasn’t changed. Obviously, life is very different if you’re not involved and I do enjoy that still.

“You never know where life is taking you, so maybe it takes me back behind the wheel, maybe it doesn’t.”

Vettel added to the BBC: “I’m having thoughts that are crossing my mind and thinking about [a return].

“But at this stage, my mindset generally hasn’t changed so it really depends on what’s coming up.”

Sebastian Vettel admits talks with Toto Wolff

Hamilton’s move to Ferrari in 2025 means Mercedes need to fill his spot next year.

“I’ve had conversations with [Toto Wolff], not really about the seat,” Vettel told Sky.

“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. We’ll see if they will turn out or not.

“So I am staying in touch. I don’t know. It has to be a couple more phone calls and conversations, I guess, 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 last years, but then struggle and you’re still second and third in the constructors’ (championship), it’s not like you’re racing in no man’s land.”

He added to the BBC when asked about returning with Mercedes: “I’m following the sport and at the minute there’s quite a lot of movement when it comes to drivers, driver market and so on.

“I’m obviously in contact with a lot of people still. I’m speaking as well to Toto [Wolff] every now and then.

“It depends I guess but at the minute it’s not the number one priority.”