Sebastian Vettel has revealed he would seriously step out of retirement for "a one-race career in the future" at Suzuka.
Vettel makes his final appearance this weekend at the legendary Japanese circuit he claims is his favourite and where he has won on four occasions, been on the podium an additional four times, whilst also clinching his 2011 championship.
Yet while the 35-year-old German does not know what the future holds beyond the end of this season when he steps away from F1 after 16 years, for Suzuka, he would make a comeback.
Asked initially whether Japan's Super GT or Super Formula series could tempt him to race again given he is a fan favourite in Japan, the Aston Martin driver replied: "I guess they are racing in Suzuka as well. I don't know, never say never.
"It is a great track for many, many reasons, and who knows what the future brings. I don't know.
"Obviously, I love driving, and around this track, I always felt very alive and the passion feels very alive.
"We will see what type of car, in the future, will come up."
Referring to the four drivers alongside him in the FIA press conference - Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, Nicholas Latifi and Yuki Tsunoda - Vettel added: "Maybe one of these guys, in one of the future races here, will feel a bit sick.
"I don't wish them to feel so but I wouldn't mind jumping back for a race at Suzuka at any time.
"Obviously we will see what the future brings but at the moment I have no plans.
"But there are some exciting races happening in Japan. I don't know, we will see."
Asked whether he was being serious with his remark, he said: "About a one-race career in the future? Yeah.
"If anybody is happy to sign up a driver for a single race - I'm sure these guys wouldn't be happy to step aside - but it would be something I'd seriously consider."
Last race at Suzuka feels different for Vettel
For Vettel, Suzuka is the type of circuit and venue he knows he will miss when he retires.
"I've always loved the track, I think it stands out," said Vettel. "It's my favourite track on the calendar, and the calendars have changed over so many years.
"Tracks have disappeared - well, they're still there but they're not on the calendar anymore - and we've added other tracks.
"But from my very first time this has been a special place, just the layout of corners, the first sector, it's iconic, a figure-of-eight track, the only one we have, plus then the atmosphere and the attention the sport gets when we come here is crazy.
"Lots of very nice memories. I didn't think at the other races...obviously, I know it will be my last time in other places, too, but here it does feel a bit different somehow."