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Aston Martin had a season full of ups and downs but overall they finished P7. Read on for a complete analysis.
Aston Martin had a very interesting 2022 season. They started slowly and for a while, it looked like the team would remain at the back of the field. However, a string of decent results towards the end of the season gave them enough points to boost them up the standings. The team had their best finish in Singapore with other great (individual) performances in Azerbaijan and Japan.
Aston Martin finished the 2022 season in seventh place. They finished ahead of Haas, Williams and old midfield rivals, AlphaTauri. Aston Martin finished joint with Alfa Romeo on 55 points, however, the British-based team lost the sixth place position due to the team’s “highest race finish”. Valtteri Bottas’s fifth at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the difference.
In a season which represented a general step backwards in overall results and performance, the highlights were the several sixth place finishes.
The first high point came in Azerbaijan. It was the Baku Street Circuit where Sebastian Vettel shone once again. Despite getting the team’s first sixth-place finish, Vettel did not equal his 2021 result there, when he finished in second place.
#SV5 in Five – Sebastian Vettel's @AstonMartinF1 highlights.
Part 5 – The Leader
Baku, 2021. How could we forget about this one? After missing out on Q3, Seb drove phenomenally to claim a first-ever #F1 podium for @astonmartin.#DankeSeb pic.twitter.com/zwpssF9XPA
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) November 20, 2022
After their slow start, Vettel brought home this excellent result. Although the weekend was great for Vettel, Aston Martin’s other driver, Stroll, did not finish. This put a stopper in the potential points haul. However, it was their best result at this point in the season.
Heading back to Singapore was exciting for all Formula 1 fans. It was also great for Lance Stroll as he equalled Aston Martin’s best result of the year. Stroll brought it home with a sixth-position finish and Vettel wasn’t far behind in P8. It was a solid weekend and it was the team’s best points haul of the year and both drivers were “happy to pick up a bunch of points“.
One of the nicest race weekends of the season was the Japanese Grand Prix weekend. Not only was it great to see F1 back in Japan, and the Japanese fans who came out in force, but it was a great weekend for Sebastian Vettel fans. He rocked a Hachimaki headband to say goodbye and thank Japan for all of the memories.
On the track, Vettel said his proper goodbyes. He had a worrying early spin in the race but drove his way back towards the front and finished in sixth. Once again, this equalled the team’s best result of 2022 and added another eight points to the team’s total. This result kept Aston Martin in the race for sixth.
The race wasn’t a highlight for the team points-wise, but the scenes before and after the race made the weekend a highlight. Firstly, Vettel’s qualifying session was an incredible watch. Not only did Vettel make Q3 but the way he got through to the final session was nothing short of inspiring.
Vettel kept setting the pace and got purple sectors at points, despite being held up by traffic. He ended up finishing in ninth but it was a joy to watch. Especially as it was the last qualifying of his career.
The other greatest part of the Aston Martin Abu Dhabi weekend was Vettel doing doughnuts at the end of the grand prix. The fans went wild whilst many of us at home said a teary goodbye to the spectacular Sebastian Vettel. This may have been a lot of Vettel talk, but, he truly was a credit to the Aston Martin team for the past two years.
Start of the season
In the run-up to the start of the season, Sebastian Vettel came down with COVID. Unfortunately, he had to miss the first two races of the year. This was a blow to the team as their most successful driver was out and they had to call in the super-reserve driver, Nico Hulkenberg.
When Sebastian Vettel did return, in Australia, the team’s hopes weren’t looking great. Vettel had a rocky weekend and then crashed out of the grand prix. Lance Stroll also had a frustrating weekend as he got tangled up with Latifi in qualifying and missed out on points during the race.
F1 just isn't the same without Seb, is it? 😂
Big smiles and a little show for the crowd as he makes his way back to the pits at the end of the session 🙌#AusGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/O2q5b9kUqL
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 8, 2022
Monza was another big frustration for the Aston Martin team. Despite looking like they had the pace they suffered a double DNF. This was annoying, especially for Lance Stroll, as he looked very competitive.
The USA Grand Prix was one of the most disappointing weekends of the year for Aston Martin. They didn’t perform particularly badly as Vettel did bring home some points for the team. However, that weekend could have been so much more.
Vintage Vettel was back. He even led the race, taking himself to 3500 laps led in his F1 career and looked set for a strong finish. A slow pitstop derailed this opportunity and Vettel came home in P8. He then got a promotion to P7 after Fernando Alonso received a time penalty.
On the other side of the garage, Lance Stroll did not finish the race. This was due to one of the most unusual crashes of the season. Lance Stroll’s race looked so promising as he was driving around in third at one point but he then tangled with Alonso and ended his own race.
Onboard with Alonso during that collision with Stroll
Both drivers are ok and, amazingly, Alonso has managed to get going again #USGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/xyAHqiDry9
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 23, 2022
The bump with Alonso sent the Spaniard flying into the air. Surprisingly, Alonso finished the race whereas Lance Stroll retired. Stroll was given a three-place grid penalty in Mexico.
The United States Grand Prix summed up the Aston Martin season in one weekend. There was so much promise and potential with moments of brilliance but the end result was less than they had hoped for.
Abu Dhabi was a low point for Aston Martin. The team were so close to catching Alfa Romeo in the hunt for sixth place, and an extra $10-$12 million in prize money. The team just fell short. Abu Dhabi was a tough one as they came into the race three points behind their rivals and ended the race on equal footing. However, just one point more could have promoted them up the constructors’ table.
Stroll had an average season for him. He wasn’t the worst but he certainly wasn’t the best. Despite looking extremely quick and showing moments of promise, such as in Monza and in the United States, his best finish was sixth place in Singapore.
He finished the season with 18 points in 15th place. Compared to his teammate, this was relatively low. However, he was competing against a reinvigorated four-time world champion.
Given the fact that he missed races and DNF’d from a few more, Sebastian Vettel did a decent job. He got 37 points and finished 12th in the drivers’ championship. By Vettel’s standards, this is a low finish, but, considering his circumstances, he did a good job. Despite the many DNFs and no-points weekends, he played a major role in the team’s fight with Alfa Romeo.
Comparing the start of the season to now, Aston Martin surpassed expectations. they really came into form towards the end of the year and if there weren’t as many DNFs, sixth place would have been certain for the team. Compared to last season, where the team finished seventh with 77 points, one might say Aston Martin did worse. However, the competition was much more dominated by the “big teams” and Aston Martin did generally well with where they finished.
What to expect for 2023
Next year Aston Martin has Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso in their team. Vettel’s retirement was bound to leave a big hole, yet, the team managed to secure another world champion to take his place. if the car for 2023 is good then Aston Martin definitely has the potential to push for sixth place in the constructors’ championship.
On a driver basis, 2023 may be the year that Lance Stroll needs to step up. His teammate is notoriously good despite his age and will show no mercy. Alonso is known to drive for himself and will definitely put on a show. Lance Stroll needs to show everyone the driver he can be and turn those moments of brilliance into showstopping performances.
Feature Image Credit: Aston Martin Media Room