‘Determined’ Vettel is in the Same Boat at Aston Martin as Perez at Red Bull: Szafnauer

Published 04/23/2021, 10:20 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


The opening two rounds of the 2021 F1 season has served a common theme – drivers who switched teams over the winter struggling against their teammates, with Sebastian Vettel being the most noticeable example. However, he is not the only one.

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Fernando Alonso, famed for overpowering his teammates, was outshone by Esteban Ocon in Imola. Daniel Ricciardo had to swallow his pride and move over for Lando Norris. And while Perez out qualified Max on Saturday, his teammate asserted his dominance in the main race.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez after qualifying in P2 REUTERS/Bryn Lennon Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

It is because the modern-day F1 car relies on so many factors. Since Vettel is coming over from Ferrari, he has had to adjust to both a new chassis and a new Mercedes engine. According to Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, Perez is suffering the same fate in the Red Bull garage.

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He said, “For Seb, the philosophy of the AMR21 is completely different and that does take time to learn. I spoke to Checo [in Imola] and he’s gone to Red Bull, which has a different philosophy to us, and he said similar.”

“It’s going to take seat time to be able to get on top of the fine margins needed for getting the most out of the car. The more seat time, the better.”

Vettel will use this frustration to get up to speed quickly, Szafnauer believes

Pressure is mounting on Vettel more than the other driver. For none of them have four world titles in their CV like the German. His critics have never been louder, some believing he has lost his mojo to others questioning the intent behind his appointment.

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However, Vettel can use all this negativity in his stride. Szafnauer is backing his marquee driver to rise above all the expectations –

“Seb has very high expectations. He will work tirelessly to get better and move up that learning curve, but he’s not beating himself up. He’ll take that bit of frustration and be even more determined to get up to speed quickly.”

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

Let’s hope that Vettel can kick-start his Aston Martin career soon.

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Bharat Aggarwal

705 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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