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How Aston Martin's "biggest regret" has severely hampered Vettel

How Aston Martin's "biggest regret" has severely hampered Vettel

F1 News

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How Aston Martin's "biggest regret" has severely hampered Vettel

How Aston Martin's "biggest regret" has severely hampered Vettel
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has conceded it is his "biggest regret" the team was unable to provide its drivers with a reliable car in testing which has severely affected Sebastian Vettel's early season form.

Aston Martin has struggled in the opening two races of the F1 season, scoring just five points, all from Lance Stroll as Vettel has yet to get off the mark.

After moving from Ferrari over the winter, Vettel has so far failed to adapt to what is a radically different car as quickly as he would have hoped.

This is primarily due to a series of reliability problems in testing that cost the four-time champion a significant proportion of his one-and-a-half days of running.

“I guess my biggest regret is we weren’t as reliable as we should have been in the winter," said Szafnauer.

"Seb lost a significant amount of his day and a half. Had we had more testing, Seb in the car more, I think he’d be in a different place on the learning curve.”

Vettel was one of four drivers competing last year to change teams during the winter, and none are yet entirely comfortable with their new surroundings.

The others are Carlos Sainz with Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren and Sergio Perez with Red Bull after he was released by Racing Point - now Aston Martin - to accommodate Vettel.

“If the car philosophies are completely different it does take time," added Szafnauer, who has confirmed speaking to Perez about the issue.

"He’s gone to Red Bull which has a different philosophy to ours, and he says the same, that it’s going to take seat time to be able to do those fine margins of getting the most out of the car. It’s just that simple. The more seat time the better."

Szafnauer believes he can see signs Vettel is improving, notably in Imola during a race that was wrecked at the start by overheating brakes, a pitlane start and a 10-second stop-go penalty for a technical infringement.

"Seb, because he had the penalty he was never really in contention [at Imola]," said Szafnauer.

"But after we put the dry tyres on he was doing some really quick lap times, if you watched his lap times. So I think he’s getting on top of the car and he’ll just get better and better.”

What do you think?
ncode429

Maybe this was the plan all along, make Lance look good.

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ncode429
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ncode429

Maybe this was the plan all along, make Lance look good.

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