Aston Martin F1 Team Boss Names “Biggest Regret” Amid Vettel’s Poor Form

Published 04/23/2021, 1:40 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 15, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


When Aston Martin signed Sebastian Vettel last season, they must have been over the moon. To start with, they were going to enter the 2021 F1 season with a huge brand name and a competitive car. And then to put the cherry on top, signing a four-time world champion was a massive coup for then. But so far this season, it has not clicked for them.

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So, what is the reason behind the driver’s dull form? Of course, we all know about the regulation change that is affecting their low-rake car. And yes, Vettel himself has not been at the top of his game. But for Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, the core issue lies with their limited pre-season testing.

“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.

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 16, 2021 Aston Martin team principal and chief executive officer Otmar Szafnauer during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

The Bahrain test event could not have gone any wrong for them. Vettel faced a series of mechanical and technical issues which limited him running to just over 100 laps, fewest of any other driver on the grid. FIA’s decision to cut the running days from six to three didn’t help their cause either.

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But now, it is important for them to look forward instead of dwelling on the past. Like the Mercedes‘ W12, their car also suffers the most in qualifying. So, Szafnauer is targeting big improvements in that area –

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“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.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action during practice REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Their race pace is not too bad, however. Lance Stroll finished in eighth place and Vettel made a few gains on Sunday before retiring with a gearbox issue.

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And in Imola, they evaluated the upgrades which they plan to equip their cars with in Portimao. Fortunately, the drivers reported a positive feedback which will be music to Szafnauer’s ears, “We’re working hard to move forward.” Let’s hope that Vettel can turn it around next weekend.

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Bharat Aggarwal

667 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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