Vettel hopes Aston Martin can carry 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 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."

Read Also:

Under its previous Racing Point guise, the team had fought regularly at the front of the midfield through 2020 and took a race win in Sakhir, 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."

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 any longer!"

shares
comments

Related video

Brawn: ‘Thrilling’ end to Baku bodes well for F1 sprint races

Previous article

Brawn: ‘Thrilling’ end to Baku bodes well for F1 sprint races

Next article

Drivers to raise concerns over safety car delay in Baku

Drivers to raise concerns over safety car delay in Baku
Load comments
The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1 Prime

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...

French Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

French Grand Prix driver ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Prime

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge Prime

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021