Sebastian Vettel Counters Aston Martin Boss Over Main Reason Behind Team’s F1 Struggles

Published 03/31/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Aston Martin, and Sebastian Vettel, in particular, had quite a disappointing race in Bahrain. It was not a weekend for them to remember; they fell drastically short of what was expected of them. The surprising fall in performance was blamed on the new aerodynamic laws that apparently hurt low-raked cars like the Aston Martin a lot more than their high-raked counterparts. However, the team’s ace driver Vettel wasn’t willing to pin the blame on the aforementioned reason.

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Vettel, who finished P15 after a tangle with Esteban Ocon, thinks that the bad performance was caused due to a multiplicity of factors. He failed to accept that a change in the floor of the AMR21 could affect the car all by itself.

He said (translated via Google), “It cannot be a matter of the angle of attack alone.”

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The four-time world champion’s statements were in stark contrast to what the team boss at Aston Martin, Otmar Szafnauer, said. Szafnauer was very vocal during the race about his team’s problems, pinning the blame on the new aero rules.

“It seems clear that the new aero rules have had a negative effect on cars with a low angle of attack like ours,” said Otmar, after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

However, he wasn’t alone in making that assessment. Alpine CEO Marcin Budkowski also had similar words to say about the effect of aerodynamics in general.

Like Aston Martin, Alpine also felt the brunt of the new aero laws

Alpine also had an F1 debut to forget. The French team ended the race with zero points to their name. And while they may not face the exact same low-rake problem that Aston Martin does, they have aerodynamic concerns of their own pertaining to the design of the car.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 26, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Speaking about just how important aerodynamics has become in the modern age of F1 racing, Budkowski said, “When it comes to weighing up the interests, aerodynamics always win today. The classic values ​​of a racing car come second.”

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Both the new names in F1 got off to a dismal start in Bahrain. But with 22 races to go, there is ample time to turn the tide.

How will these two mid-field rivals fare at the next race in Imola? We shall soon see.

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Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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