Vettel: Aston Martin "miles away" in Jeddah after surprise Q1 exit

Sebastian Vettel was surprised by his struggles in Jeddah Formula 1 qualifying on Saturday, believing his Aston Martin isn't “a good match” to the Saudi track after his Q1 exit.

Vettel: Aston Martin "miles away" in Jeddah after surprise Q1 exit

Vettel finished a lowly 17th in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, only beating team-mate Lance Stroll and the Haas cars to leave Aston Martin as the second-slowest team.

Vettel sounded disappointed over team radio when his engineer confirmed he had only finished 17th, lapping over two-tenths of a second shy of a Q2 berth.

Aston Martin had also featured towards the lower end of the practice session results, but Vettel was surprised by its struggles as nothing had changed on the AMR21 car since Qatar where he reached Q3.

He put Aston Martin’s weaknesses down to tyre preparation, a challenge several teams have struggled with this weekend, and the fast Jeddah street track not suiting his car.

“It’s the same car, so I think we are just not a good match to this track,” Vettel said.

“I struggled a bit to get the tyres to work, but I think so did everybody. So it's not efficient, I guess, around here, and doesn't play to our strengths.

“The laps feel good. The balance, once we get it, is OK, but we are miles away, and then you look at the onboard from the others.

"There’s no secrets, they are just faster.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Vettel was caught up in a traffic jam towards the end of Q1 as a number of cars bunched towards Turn 27 ahead of their flying laps. The backing-up was sparked by Valtteri Bottas, who was running slowly due to an engine misfire before he ultimately got back to the pits.

“[There were] too many cars in the same spot of the track and cars not able to queue,” Vettel said.

“Some of them [were] passing. It doesn't matter.

“But in the end, it was two Alpines that passed and everything started to be a mess. You run out of track and there's a car coming from behind and at that point is carnage.

“I was happy that I got the lap. Nikita [Mazepin] behind me was side-by-side down the main straight and he aborted, so it could have been me the other way around and you don't even get the final shot."

shares
comments

Related video

Perez: New Saudi F1 circuit is unnecessarily dangerous
Previous article

Perez: New Saudi F1 circuit is unnecessarily dangerous

Next article

Live: F1 Saudi Arabian GP commentary and updates

Live: F1 Saudi Arabian GP commentary and updates
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022