Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 2022

Vettel keeps faith in revised Aston Martin despite lack of performance in Spain

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel says that Aston Martin will stick with their new car concept despite failing to score in the Spanish Grand Prix.

In brief

“Still a lot of work to do” with new Aston Martin package – Vettel

After introducing a new car concept in Barcelona there was no points reward for Aston Martin, Sebastian Vettel finishing in 11th and Lance Stroll in 15th place.

However, Vettel said that despite that the team believe the revamped car offers greater development potential than its predecessor.

“We know that there’s still a lot of work to do with this with this new package,” he said. “And we know that it’s not going to be a massive step forward straight away. But we believe it’s the better direction in the future.”

“I think for everybody [in the race] the car felt poor because it was so hot, so slippery with the tyres,” Vettel continued. “We were going so slow, if you look at the lap times. We were doing like Formula 2 qualifying pace in the race. But we managed well I think and managed the tyres better than most people.”

Alonso qualifying mix-up “easy to fix”

Fernando Alonso exited qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix in Q1, after hitting traffic during his final run. Alonso had believed he needed to get over the line quicker to not face the chequered flag, which turned out not to be the case.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer said that the team would revise the way they communicated track position to Alonso. “In the future, we’ll tell him how much time he has because we know on the pit wall at different areas of the track.

“So he knows exactly because he thought he had two seconds when he had 16. So it’s a big difference.”

Szafnaur said that it wasn’t a case that Alonso had misinterpreted Alpine’s relay of data, simply that he hadn’t asked for clarification. “I don’t think he got the message.

“But also communication is a two-way street. He could have asked as too, ‘how much time do we have?’ and he didn’t.

“So now as a default we in those situations, we will tell him three or four times on track. So he knows and we’re telling him. It’s easy to fix.”

Monaco bumps will be aerodynamic challenge for 2020 cars

Williams’ head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson, has said that Monaco’s bumpy surface will demand an aerodynamic compromise, in the ground-effect cars.

“Monaco is always a challenging circuit that requires a specific approach to setup and car management,” Robson explained. “With the new 2022 cars, this is going to be an even greater challenge as it will be necessary to move the car away from the aerodynamic optimum in order to be able to deal with the bumps and kerbs of the Monte Carlo streets.

“Apart from some additional brake cooling and steering options, we have no test items or upgrades for this event and so we will be free to spend the practice sessions exploring the car setup and helping the drivers to get maximum confidence in the car.”

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Comment of the day

After Max Verstappen equalled Juan-Manuel Fangio’s win record, Bernasaurus contemplates the recency bias created by F1’s ever-growing calendar:

It’s odd to think Max has now won more races (24) than his somewhat-father-in-law Piquet with 23. Yet, Nelson has three world championships. This whole having almost twice as many races does skew figures, Fangio won five world titles, more than Senna, Prost… well everyone apart from Lewis and Michael. But isn’t in the top grand prix winners list.

I don’t think it’s a problem, Fangio’s achievements aren’t going to be forgotten. But someone new to the sport might assume Nelson Piquet must have been quite good at coming second a lot.
@bernasaurus

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sumedh and Joe Papp!

On this day in motorsport

Villeneuve dealt with punishing degradation to win the Spanish Grand Prix today in 1997
  • 25 years ago today Jacques Villeneuve retook the championship lead from Michael Schumacher with a tyre-nursing victory in Spain

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 16 comments on “Vettel keeps faith in revised Aston Martin despite lack of performance in Spain”

    1. A minor typo I guess, but instead of ‘Monaco bumps will be aerodynamic challenge for 2020 cars’ should say 2022 instead, right?

      1. To be fair, the teams have been working on the 2021 cars since 2020. ;-)

        1. 2022 cars that is

          1. They were supposed to be introduced last year, thus referring to them as 2021 cars is fair.

    2. What really puzzles me is why engine customers simply can’t get ahead of their respective suppliers?

    3. What did that cow do to get house arrest?

      1. RocketTankski
        25th May 2022, 14:29

        Romain was told to “try and milk the car for another tenth”.

    4. COTD highlights why percentage of wins is a more meaningful stat. Fangio is still head and shoulders ahead of the competition and is likely to stay at the top. The other big influence is reliability. Clark’s stats for example would have been even more impressive had his Lotus not broken down while leading a million times…(maybe not that many but you know what I mean)

      1. @tommy-c Yeah % of race starts would be more meaningful.

        Also in addition I think an average finishing position could also indicate effectiveness.

      2. Statistics are only ever useful if presented in a meaningful and unbiased way, which it usually isn’t. More commonly it’s used to present data in a way that supports a particular opinion. Or, in F1, simply as entertainment. The raw data is what it is, a record of what actually happened, but unfortunately that’s often difficult to overview or present to others in a comprehensible way. But it will always be there.

      3. In the 80s, due to reliability, drivers were required to save equipment a lot, that’s why smart (and fast) drivers like Piquet achieved so much, it was not a matter of winning every race, but consistensy. That’s my opinion of why some multiple champions like Piquet don’t have that much wins (and obviously because there was less races).

      4. @tommy-c – I don’t even think percentage of wins is that useful… The sport is so spectacularly different today compared to how it was when Fangio was racing that any comparisons are so full of caveats that they become meaningless.

        Back then, it was “how fast do you dare to drive” whereas these days it’s “how much can you extract out of the car.” No-one in Fangio’s day was going at 100% because that was too close to the limit and if you overstepped the limit, you didn’t just go wide on to an asphalt run-off – you put yourself in a position where death was quite a strong possibility.

        1. Of course the game has changed considerably and it would be foolish to compare Fangio to Schumacher on objective abilities as the skill sets are completely different. The important point it highlights though is relative performance to their peers and Fangio was truly peerless in his day.

    5. Re E-formel.de post, Marrakech may have been the only practically viable option as Vancouver’s replacement at this short notice.
      However, the weather could be unbearably hot as Marrakech’s climate is pretty similar to the Middle East’s hot desert one, so risky choice anyway.
      Good thing F1 opted against taking a similar risk with Qatar in September.

      Interesting & valid COTD.

    6. Great photo of the ’97 Spanish Grand Prix start. If my memory serves me right, wasn’t Panis hounding Villeneuve for the lead in the last part of the race? Panis is way back in 12th at the start here so that is very impressive seeing as passing was as difficult back then as it is now at Barcelona. I was actually in Spain on holiday watching that race, so I was totally in the dark as to what was happening with tyre and fuel strategies as I was watching the race on a Spanish channel.

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