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Vettel: Aston Martin “failed” in their aspirations

The four-time world champion reflected on his time with the team

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As Sebastian Vettel heads into his final race weekend, he gave his verdict on Aston Martin’s recent performances. 

Vettel ahead of FP1 in Mexico City (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP) (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images)

At the start of 2021, many fans could not wait for the historic British team to return to Formula 1. Almost two years later, the constructor has not had the mighty comeback that was expected. 

As one door closes, another opens. Everyone will miss the legendary German racer, but his team will be hoping for a more fruitful chapter with the incoming Fernando Alonso. 

Looking back over Vettel’s time at Aston Martin

After he was unsuccessful in achieving his dreams of winning a title with Ferrari, Vettel joined Aston Martin, replacing Sergio Perez.

He scored the team’s first podium in the highly eventful Azerbaijan Grand Prix. This feat was agonisingly close to being repeated in Hungary. Unfortunately, the German was disqualified as the team could not provide the required fuel sample. 

Due to these results, it frequently looked like Vettel was outperforming the car he was given. 

However, even his remarkable talent was not enough to drag the team higher than seventh in the standings. 

It is a similar story this year, minus the podium finish. Aston Martin are once again in seventh, albeit 27 points behind last year’s total with one race remaining. 

The ex-Red Bull driver missed the opening of the 2022 season as he contracted Covid-19. Even after competing in fewer rounds, he is still currently on 36 points, 22 ahead of his teammate Lance Stroll. 

Looking back on his two seasons with the team, Vettel explained in an Aston Martin interview

“The car wasn’t as competitive as we hoped. This year, we wanted to make a significant improvement over last year. We failed. We’re currently where we finished last year. I’m not pointing the finger and saying we did a bad job. I’m just being realistic. We had high hopes, but we fell short.”

Focusing on the positives

Vettel may have been unable to replicate his career’s early success at Aston Martin. That does not mean that his time there was wasted.

“I don’t think it was a useless two years, even though the results and points we scored weren’t that useful or what we hoped for,” he stated. “I’ve loved working with the team – getting to know different people and different approaches.

“These two years have been very challenging because I wasn’t familiar with running at the back of the field. It has been a new experience – tough at times – and I realised a lot.”

Across his time with Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari, the 35-year-old achieved a historic 53 race victories. 

His final year at Ferrari was his first taste of not being a frontrunner since his Formula 1 debut in 2007.

Nevertheless, it took some time for Vettel to fully get used to competing for a midfield team. 

He said: “When you’re at the front, you don’t look at the back because it doesn’t impact you and you don’t appreciate just how much work the teams at the back are also putting in.

“Just because you’re not scoring big results, [it] doesn’t mean you’re not working as hard.

“I’m very happy and proud to have worked alongside such a talented and dedicated group of people at Aston Martin F1. Even though it wasn’t a lot of fun in terms of the results, it’s been a lot of fun working with everyone – helping the team on its journey and building for the future.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

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