Vettel hopes Aston Martin can carry F1 momentum after "rough start"

Sebastian Vettel hopes his second-place finish in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix can help the team build momentum after a “very rough start” to the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Vettel hopes Aston Martin can carry F1 momentum after "rough start"

Four-time world champion Vettel linked up with Aston Martin over the winter following his exit from Ferrari, but failed to score any points in his first four appearances for the team.

A big breakthrough came in Monaco when he was able to finish fifth, but Vettel put in his best display yet for the team by battling from 11th on the grid to finish second in Baku on Sunday.

Vettel managed to lead the race after a long first stint on the soft tyres, allowing him to overcut two cars before fighting past Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly on the two restarts, giving him P2 at the chequered flag.

Vettel conceded after the race that while he had felt strong through practice and qualifying, he never expected to reach the podium.

“I didn't have many expectations, to be honest,” Vettel said.

“I knew that the whole weekend I felt good, so I knew we could score some points, but I certainly didn’t expect second and the race was really strong.

“Obviously I’m very happy with P2 and [for] the team, I think it’s great for us. We had a very rough start to the season. We expected quite a bit more after such a strong year the team had last year.

“I can’t wait to get back to have a couple of drinks with the guys.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, 2nd position, the Red Bull Racing trophy delegate, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, and Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, 3rd position, on the podium

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, 2nd position, the Red Bull Racing trophy delegate, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, and Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, 3rd position, on the podium

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Under its previous Racing Point guise, the team had fought regularly at the front of the midfield through 2020 and took a race win at the Sakhir GP, only for the 2021 downforce cuts to cause it to drop down the order.

Vettel’s result almost doubled Aston Martin’s points tally for the season so far, but was not enough to stop it slipping behind AlphaTauri in the fight for fifth in the constructors’ championship.

P2 marked Vettel’s best result since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix, as well as matching his best finish in Baku from the inaugural race in 2016.

Vettel said he took more enjoyment out of fighting for positions further up the field, sensing there was a big opportunity for the team as he gradually rose through the field.

“It’s always nice if you join a new team get together good results,” Vettel said.

“I sat here on Thursday and said that I’m in it to win, and I enjoyed the race because I was getting closer and closer to spots that I enjoy more and more.

“Obviously when I was P4, I knew that’s good points for the team and for myself, but as soon as we were in the podium ranks, I really thought that we can have a say if something happens.

“I think I felt quite comfortable in the car all weekend, which for sure doesn’t hurt, so hopefully we can carry that momentum into the next couple of events.

“France will be a normal track so we will see where we are, but hopefully we can fight for points a little bit more regularly.”

Read Also:

Vettel revealed that he felt in such good shape that he opted not to get out of his car during the lengthy red flag wait.

“I stayed in the car, I wanted to stay in the zone and not distract myself, to be ready,” Vettel said.

“I felt that we obviously did the best we could today. It’s quite comfortable in my car – and I’m one of the only drivers that doesn’t pee in the car, so I can stay in there for longer!”

shares
comments

Related video

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings
Previous article

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Next article

What is the Mercedes magic button and what does it do?

What is the Mercedes magic button and what does it do?
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022