Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Yas Marina, 2022

Aston Martin “threw away” sixth in championship with one-stop strategy – Vettel

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Retired four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel says his Aston Martin team “threw away” the chance to take sixth place in the constructor’s championship with their strategy choice in the final race.

Vettel completed his last grand prix by taking the final point in tenth place but had run higher in the early phase of the race. His Aston Martin team opted for a one-stop strategy which dropped him from fourth place to 19th at one stage and left him fighting to catch up to rivals ahead over the second half of the race.

Aston Martin finished equal on points with Alfa Romeo on 55, but lost out on sixth place in the constructors’ championship on count-back of their past results.

Vettel admitted the team had chosen “absolutely the wrong strategy” by keeping him out for so long on his first stint when asked about their tactics after the race by RaceFans.

“[I was] going backwards,” said Vettel. “I was really trying but I gave it all I could.

“It would have been great for the team to get the constructors’ championship for sixth, but we sort of threw that away with the strategy we chose.”

After Fernando Alonso admitted to have eased off during an early battle, Vettel said he could tell his long-time rival was not pushing him as hard as he could.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Yas Marina, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in pictures
“I could feel that a little bit with Fernando, he was very, very generous at the beginning of the race,” Vettel said.

“After that the Alfa Romeos fought very, very hard because they wanted to defend the constructors’. So it was a shame I was stuck behind Esteban [Ocon] in the beginning, because I felt I had better deg[radation], but then we stayed out way too long and lost so much time.”

With Vettel’s Formula 1 career now over, he admits he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and pursuing his other interests outside of racing.

“I think it will hit me at some point when I go to bed tonight or tomorrow morning,” he said.

“It’s been a very special for me to have that kind of farewell and enjoy that. I had a great time across all these years and was able to enjoy success, win championships – so from a sporting point of view, its been huge. But also able to grow and mature in many ways and reflect about a lot of things.”

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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12 comments on “Aston Martin “threw away” sixth in championship with one-stop strategy – Vettel”

  1. Yeah. Bit of an own goal. But hey, at least they had the prodigy son finishing strong, right.

    1. Well, unlucky for you, he can actually drive.

      1. He’s okay (better than people act like), but no as good as you seem to imply. No one in their right mind has ever thought “Damn that Lance Stroll can drive!”

  2. It’s always a bit tough when a driver complains about the race winning strategy being wrong, but different cars can have that effect.

    Still, it was good to see the former champion have a good and competitive race as his last one in F1. Compared to his predecessors Räikkönen and Button who had technical issues in their last races (ignoring Button’s unfortunate Monaco return in 2017), this was a good way to bow out.

    1. Not only are the cars different, as were the races. Max, and Charles for that matter too, did not spend large parts of their first stint within a second of a car, and neither had to charge through the field in their second. The one stop was the slower strategy for a midfield car, but Aston had no choice after they wasted the opportunity to undercut Ocon. Although Vettel should ask himself why he never tried to go down the inside at turn 9, he obviously lacked the grip for an outside move.

  3. Aston probably needs more the windtunnel time than the extra money from 7th to 6th.

    1. Very good point with lawrence stroll as a team owner and not being generally a good car so far.

    2. The weak Mercedes engine was not helping. Worst engine in the field ironically now.

  4. Sure, Seb, the strategy was wrong. They should have given you a blown-diffuser RBR. You are hopeless outside one of those.

    1. And here I thought he actually had a pretty decent season.

  5. They indeed did.

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