The four-time world champion had a terrible first race weekend for Aston Martin, his fifth team in F1
By Yuri Coghe
Sebastian Vettel didn’t have the best debut for Aston Martin. Far from it.
The four-time world champion added five points to his super licence and none to the drivers’ championship at the Bahrain Grand Prix, failing to slow down under yellow flags on Saturday and smashing the back of Esteban Ocon’s Alpine on Sunday on a rookie mistake.
Vettel’s lacklustre performance at the season opener led many to believe he’ll fail to impress in the rest of the year as well, having shown the same kind of mistakes fans got used to seeing him make in recent years.
Aston martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer is not of them.
“It’s way too early to say that,” he said. “It’s really early days. You know, he didn’t do a lot of laps in winter testing. We only had three days of winter testing and he had to share those days with Lance and he seemed to have all the problems.”
Time is all Vettel needs to get back to his best, Szafnauer believes.
“The car he’s driving now is totally different to the one he drove before, from car characteristics, powertrain, a lot of things. He only really felt happy with the car, getting to grips with knowing it and making set-up changes that suit him, in qualifying when he had the yellow flags. So I’m still confident we’ll get Seb there.”
Lance Stroll’s tenth place in Bahrain got Aston Martin its first point in F1 history. They’ve competed in six races in the 1959 and 1960 seasons.