Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Aston Martin “expected to be stronger this year”, Vettel admits

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel has said that, although Aston Martin are slower this year than expected, he has confidence in their ability to progress.

Reflecting on the team’s performance so far this year in yesterday’s press conference, Vettel said “it’s not a secret [that] we expected to be stronger this year. Obviously, for reasons we are not.

“So it is what it is, yet I think we we can grow as a team. There’s a lot of small things that we are looking at we can improve. And I think the whole group is still very excited. The spirit is great.

“So I’m very happy where I am, despite obviously the performance not being where we all wanted it to be. I think we’ve accepted that and we try to do the best we can from there.”

This year’s Aston Martin car is, like all 2021 F1 cars, an adaptation of its 2020 predecessor. The team scored four podium finishes last year as Racing Point, including a win at the Sakhir Grand Prix, but have only five points from three races so far this year. The team’s management has complained bitterly about rules changes introduced during the off-season.

Vettel also believes the aerodynamic regulation changes introduced this season has caused more problems for his new team than many of their rivals.

“If you are completely honest, our car is not quick enough. What we thought and we wanted, obviously, [was] to be quicker. I think the rule changes obviously hurt us more than they probably did other people, but it is what it is so we’ve got to make the most out of it where we are.”

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2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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12 comments on “Aston Martin “expected to be stronger this year”, Vettel admits”

  1. Rigth. Yeah, I doubt they counted on losing out as much as they did, otherwise they would have put in the effort to counter that.

  2. This thing about the aero regs, we are only talking about at best a couple tenths, peking order looks identical to last season. I’m sure they’ll get on top of last years mercedes, they were shaky early last season as everyone expected them to have their best results. I reckon the new tyre and a tighter field are more relevant factors for amr’s relative performance.

    1. @peartree Mercedes and Aston Martin have dropped back something like 8 tenths relative to the opposition compared to last year.

      Racing Point was the team close behind Red Bull in 2020. Stroll was even on P4 in the rankings after Imola, just before his season completely collapsed with the car trying to kill him and contracting Corona. Currently they are all the way at the back of the midfield.

      1. @f1osaurus RP was far from merc in 2020 and they atill are, rp was not at the top of the midfield only at times, amr is not at the top of the midfield. at all races this season the midfield was losing over 1 sec a lap and ended up light years away. There is nothing to suggest merc and amr post .8 to anyone from the end of last season, when RB actually won a race fair and square.

  3. This is a team performance level that sounds fair to me, if vettel was thinking to leave a slow ferrari and join a 3rd team based on performance he didn’t deserve.

  4. Why would they expect to be stronger when they knew the new regulation would hurt them. They really should pick one story and stick with it…

    1. How about because they expected to be impacted by a few tenths and it turned out to be closer to a second?

      Besides, “they” would have told Vettel that everything was going to be glorious when “they” for whatever reason insisted on hiring him. Vettel is not “they”.

      1. Well he said “it’s not a secret [that] we expected to be stronger this year” So he is we.

  5. I mean that bit about an adaptation of last years car is wrong no? They have a new chassis, suspension, gbox

    1. Essentially they fell backwards, their 2019 Mercedes not looking great in 2021. Especially with new floor.

      Mercedes are also way of their usual pace, but in their case they had enough advantage in hand.

  6. If you copy a car, it’s only short term gain, look at Haas who did it with the ferrari a few years back.

    Alot of teams have worked on small details on their cars and which has made it much closer, engines power is also similar now.

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  7. No doubt Vettel was told (back in 2020) by the RP/AM team bosses that he would have the considerable performance of a ‘Green Mercedes’ under him this year. Sadly it seems that in transitioning from the Pink Mercedes to the green one it was just as affected by the new regs as the ‘actual’ Mercedes, but Aston Martin don’t have the budget or the expertise to recover as much of the performance. So this year we have a Mercedes that is now no longer dominating, and an Aston that is much closer to the back of the grid than they expected. Some might argue that this is what happens when you copy someone else’s work without fully understanding what is involved.

    Reply moderated

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