‘Engineer in the Cockpit’: Aston Martin Ready to Challenge Red Bull F1 Thanks to Sebastian Vettel

Published 02/07/2021, 8:35 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 11, 2020 Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel arrives at the Yas Marina Circuit Hamad I Mohammed/Pool via REUTERS


Aston Martin is making a return to Formula One after more than six decades. While most people expect the team to go slow in their first season, team boss Otmar Szafnauer has bigger goals. According to him, with the addition of Sebastian Vettel to the team, they could look to challenge Red Bull.

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The German is looking to bounce back after a couple of lean seasons where he only won one race. Many believe that he has lost his charm and view his move to Aston Martin has a step towards retirement.

But his boss Szafnauer clearly begs to differ.

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Szafnauer thinks Sebastian Vettel could be the difference

Szafnauer, in an interview, said that Vettel had brought not just his driving but also his technical knowledge to the team.

“In fact, there are those who have defined him as an engineer in the cockpit. He wants to know everything and more about the machine and its performance.

“This is a positive aspect: it carries an important baggage of knowledge. This year he wants to test himself while having fun.”

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE – Owner of Racing Point Lawrence Stroll and Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Racing Point walks in the Paddock before final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

The Romanian went on to say that Vettel‘s hunger is still intact. He said, “The questions arise from how his season went last year. The way I see it, at 33 he doesn’t forget how to drive a Formula 1. He has a great desire to start the season and to me, he seemed particularly hungry for knowledge.”

The 56-year-old thinks second place in the Constructor’s Championship should be attainable. He said, “Well, we’ll see how we go: second place would certainly be fantastic, but it would mean that we could challenge Red Bull and Mercedes.

Aston Martin’s expectations for 2021

The team are entering Formula One with great ambitions. They are looking to improve on their previous stint, which saw them finish pointless across six races in the late 50s.

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The British team has made a big play in signing Sebastian Vettel and pairing him with Lance Stroll. To make things better, they are also powered by Mercedes powertrains, which are the best on the grid.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 13: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Racing Point RP20 Mercedes during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Giuseppe Cacace – Pool/Getty Images)

Thus, Aston Martin should be considered as one of the dark horses of the upcoming season. They very nearly finished third in the Constructor’s Championship in 2020, and should look to secure third, possibly challenging Red Bull for the second.

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The team have things going well for them at the moment, and if they play their cards right, we might just see them on the podium more often than we think.

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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