Worrying signs: Vettel fears Aston Martin will get outclassed by rivals despite engine upgrade

Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel believes that Aston Martin needs to take significant steps forward if they are to progress and counter their mid-field rivals.

Vettel’s race at the Emilia Romagna GP was compromised after he faced an overheated brake. This forced the German to start the race from the pits. This also led stewards to hand him a 10-second penalty.

Vettel’s teammate Lance Stroll was among the top ten all afternoon while Vettel managed to advance up to P12. But, he was sidelined by a gearbox issue a lap before the checkered flag.

“It was some good time in the car, but obviously in terms of results, not much [to be positive about],” said the four-time world champion.

“We need to do a better job in a lot of areas… and we just need a bit more grip all around to get in a better place.”

Aston Martin’s AMR21 saw a few updates last weekend. However, Vettel did not feel there was much improvement.

“We had a few new parts in Imola, but I think we need a big step to really make a difference,” he said.

“We will get some more [upgrades] in the next races and hope to make a step forward but as I said, we are more in the back of the midfield at the moment.

“But that can change quickly if we take small steps forward and when first of all it becomes a bit calm again and we have a decent race.”

Vettel’s teammate Stroll managed to clock in at eighth place despite a five-second penalty. However, he also struggled with Aston Martin’s AMR21. But, Vettel was glad that the team could score some points.

“[Lance scoring points] is good. We both had a similar issue going to the grid and then I guess he got lucky that he didn’t have to start from the pit lane.

“But it’s good to obviously at least get some points.”

Team boss Otmar Szafnauer however was supportive with regards to Vettel’s performance.

“Sebastian had a troubled run that ended in a DNF just one lap from the end, which was disappointing for him and the team,” said Szafnauer.

“But he got a lot of very useful mileage in the car, which is a positive because he is still playing catch-up to some extent as a result of his lack of running in pre-season testing.”

Do you think Vettel’s performance in Imola can be attributed to the car? Let us know in the comments below!

Read More: “Was in the pits for a lot of time”: Szafnauer says Vettel’s adaptation slower than expected

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