New Aston Martin recruit Sebastian Vettel has admitted that he will face various challenges in his first season with the team.
It is not just the fact that he has had to relocate and get to know new people around him, but also the fact that the car is almost entirely different to the Ferrari he was previously driving.
Four-time world champion Vettel spent 6 seasons at Ferrari before he was deemed surplus to requirements by the Italian outfit at the end of last season.
With barely any time to get used to the new car, Vettel said integration with his new crew has started.
“It’s just getting to know the people,” Vettel told Motorsport.com.
“It’s one thing to understand what they mean, obviously, and lots of different things to talk about the car.
“On the car the steering feels different because it’s a different unit.
“Obviously every F1 car has power steering, but every power steering is set up slightly differently.
“It gives you a different impression, because ultimately when you drive you have the wheel in your hands and that’s the feedback you get.
“The car has a different philosophy.”
Vettel was merely referring to the low rake concept used by Aston Martin that is rather different from the chassis design employed by his former teams Red Bull and Ferrari.
“There’s a lot more elements that have to come together,” Vettel said.
“It’s not like there’s only one thing. It’s not like you have a high rake car and you just drop the rake and you are in a Mercedes, and you are in a Mercedes and you increase the rake and you drive a Red Bull.
“It’s not like that. It’s much, much more complex.
“It’s a different team, it’s a different car so it drives a bit differently. It wants to be driven differently, and with a different power unit.
“Naturally these things are different and take a bit of getting used to.
“It’s been very interesting to me, let’s put it that way.
“It’s a different environment inside the car as well,” he added. “The pedals are feeling a bit different and the seat is a little bit different.
“Just in terms of comfort. It’s small stuff but it’s the cumulative effect of all those things put together.”
Mechanical problems meant Vettel did not have the smoothest initiation at pre-season testing in Bahrain. He ended up completing the fewest number of laps of all full-time drivers.
This has meant that he is still unsure about just how competitive his Aston Martin will be against the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull.
“It will be difficult to filter all the impressions because the tyres are different, the cars have changed,” he said.
“In terms of performance, as far as what I’ve seen, it looks to be very close.
“It depends how the car feels, if the car feels fine – but it’s relative.
“The car can feel fantastic but if it’s too slow, it’s painful. And if it feels horrible but it’s faster than everyone else’s, then you accept it.
“We’ll find out more when we go racing.”
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