Sebastian Vettel Reflects On “Tricky” Portuguese Grand Prix

Published 05/02/2021, 4:08 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 29, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys


Sebastian Vettel yet again failed to open his account with Aston Martin this season at the 2021 Portuguese GP. He looked on course, though, after starting inside the top 10. But his pace dropped off during his first stint and he’s now reflected on the race.

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“I think after 10 laps it was really difficult to keep up with the group ahead. We just couldn’t stay with them and ultimately lost out,” Vettel told F1 Columnist Lawrence Barretto after the race.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 16, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action during practice REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

He couldn’t keep up because he started the race on the less-favorable soft tires. Although they are quicker during the opening stages, these compounds also suffer from more graining. Especially at the windy and slippery Portimao track. So, he had to pit early and his second stint on the mediums was too long.

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But he doesn’t think that the tires were the cause of his drop in pace. The AMR21 car, which resigned both Vettel and Lance Stroll to 13th and 14th place respectively, simply wasn’t quick enough in comparison to their other mid-field competitors.

“I don’t think the tires went off an awful lot. I think the strategy was okay – we had to try something. But ultimately we didn’t have the pace, not enough speed to put the pressure on the cars in front. Hence, why it was quite tricky,” Vettel explained to Sky Sports F1.

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Sebastian Vettel hopes to have a better outing in Barcelona

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While they struggled in Portimao, they would want to turn it around next weekend in Barcelona. The track at the Spanish GP is more conventional and offers a lot of grip for the drivers. With upgrades also expected to come in for Aston Martin, does he expect a more favorable outing?

“We will see. I mean there is obviously a bit of track-to-track difference. So, hopefully, in Barcelona, it suits us better,” answered Vettel.

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 former Ferrari driver needs a better car underneath to restore his confidence. Let’s hope that he can build on the positive of a cleaner and error-free Sunday drive.

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Bharat Aggarwal

699 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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