Vettel had planned to study mechanical engineering at university before his racing career took off. He ultimately went on to claim four F1 world championship titles with Red Bull before making the move to Ferrari in 2015.
The German is out of contract at the end of the 2020 season – which has been delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – but has started negotiations with Ferrari over a new deal.
Speaking in a Q&A answering fan questions during the extended break from racing, Vettel revealed he is tempted to pursue his former interest in engineering once he hangs up his gloves.
“Before I started professionally, and before I started my career, when I finished high school, I was planning to go to university and study mechanical engineering,” Vettel said.
“So, probably, it is something that I can think of.
“I’ve developed lots of other interests in the meantime, but still it’s always something that fascinates me – to know and understand how things work.
“Definitely I like to understand the stuff happening in our car, around our car development, and how it all comes together. So it could be something for the future.”
Asked if there was any advice he would give his younger self prior to making his F1 debut at the 2007 United States Grand Prix, Vettel replied: “I wouldn’t like to give any advice [to myself]. I think everything that happened, happened for a reason.
“Obviously I’m very lucky and fortunate, having had the career I had so far, and I don’t think I’d be interested in any shortcuts.
“Even if there were difficult times I think you always have the ability to come out stronger.”