Aston Martin signing Sebastian Vettel was a big part of the build-up to the 2021 season, with fans believing he would rediscover some of his best form. With a four-time world champion in their grips, the team had high hopes for the season.
However, things did not really go as planned. One can say that the regulation changes are affecting their car’s performance. But, Vettel has not hit the ground running either.
Team principal Otmar Szafnauer seems to think that their limited pre-season testing is what is responsible for the team’s drab performance so far.
“My biggest regret is that we weren’t as reliable as we should have been in the winter. Had we had more testing, I think he’d be in a different place on the learning curve,” said Szafnauer.
The test event in Bahrain was a disaster for the team as Vettel faced a bunch of mechanical and technical issues. This led him to run only around 100 laps, fewest of any driver on the grid.
To top it all, FIA’s decision to cut down the running days from six to three was another nail in the coffin.
Despite all these challenges, Aston Martin is hopeful it will show some improvement in the upcoming races. Just like the Mercedes, their car also suffers the most in qualifying. Szafnauer is, therefore, targeting changes that will cater to this particular aspect.
“I think we have to look really hard at one lap pace as it looks like the race pace is a little bit better. Although conditions in Imola were tricky with the wet and drying surface.”
In Imola, the team showed decent pace. Lance Stroll clocked in eighth while Vettel had to retire with a gearbox issue after a few gains.
Currently, the team plans on implementing upgrades for the next race in Portimao. They have had only positive feedback till now from the drivers, which would certainly relieve some pressure off Szafnauer’s shoulders.
Do you think Vettel can finish among the points in the next race? Let us know in the comments below!