Vettel: Aston Martin ‘expected to be stronger’, but team will grow
Sebastian Vettel says Aston Martin genuinely believed that its 2021 car would perform better than it has this season, but the German insists the Silverstone-based outfit is still “excited” about its prospects.
Vettel’s teammate Lance Stroll scored points in the first two rounds of the championship, but Vettel has yet to secure a finish in the top-ten.
Although the four-time world champion has been singled out for his struggles with his new team, Aston’s AMR21 is obviously not at the level where the team expected it to be.
“It’s not a secret: we expected to be stronger this year,” said Vettel in Barcelona. “Obviously, for reasons we are not.
“So it is what it is, yet I think we can grow as a team. There’s a lot of small things that we are looking at we can improve. And I think the whole group is still very excited. The spirit is great.
“So I’m very happy where I am, despite obviously the performance not being where we all wanted it to be. I think we’ve accepted that, and we try to do the best we can from there.”
Last year, Aston Martin’s car was among F1’s top midfield contenders, with Sergio Perez winning the Sakhir GP. But changes this year to the sport’s aero regulations have been detrimental to the car’s low-rake design concept.
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Just how much Aston can improve its AMR21 remains to be seen, but Vettel doesn’t believe his team should write off its 2021 season and channel all its development resources towards its 2022 car.
Read also: Aston Martin to field updated AMR21 for Vettel in Barcelona
“I don’t think, not just now, but generally in life, that shortcuts will help you a big deal,” Vettel said.
“There are so many things that we can still learn, and we can still have a better understanding [of] as a team. So I think it would be a wasted opportunity.
“Now, the question is obviously how you measure the opportunity, whether you measure in podiums and points, and wins or in a different currency.
“I think for us, as a team, we can still improve on a lot of small things. But in the end, it’s always the small things that make a difference and lead to perfection.
“Even if you know we’re not racing in the positions we would love to, I think it’s still time well spent.”
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