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Vettel: Steering tricky to adapt to in Aston Martin switch

Sebastian Vettel says getting to know his Aston Martin Formula 1 team better, and getting on top of its steering characteristics, are two areas he needs to improve most.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The four-time champion has switched Formula 1 squads this year, moving from Ferrari to the rebranded Aston Martin outfit that has taken over from Racing Point.

After his first official public outing with the team during pre-season testing at Bahrain last weekend, Vettel has highlighted the key areas where he feels there are gains still to be made.

"It's just getting to know the people, as it's one thing to understand what they mean, obviously, and lots of different things to talk about the car.

"On the car, the steering feels different, because it's a different unit.

"Obviously every F1 car has power steering, but every power steering is set up slightly differently, and it gives you a different impression because ultimately, when you drive, you have the wheel in your hands and that's the feedback you get."

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One of the other challenges Vettel has faced is adapting to a completely different car concept, with the Aston Martin a low rake car compared to the high rake concepts he has previously raced with at Red Bull and Ferrari.

It means he has a much bigger learning curve to go through, as well as adapting to the Mercedes power unit for the first time.

"The car has a different philosophy," he said. "It's a different team, it's a different car so it drives a bit differently. It wants to be driven differently, and with a different power units.

"Without going into detail, because I don't think it's fair to compare in public, but naturally these things are different and take a bit of getting used to.

"It's a different environment inside the car as well, just in terms of the comfort. The pedals are feeling a bit different and the seat is a little bit different. So it's small stuff, but it's the cumulative effect of all those things put together."

While Vettel does not want to get involved in comparing the different Aston Martin car concept, he says it has been a fascinating experience for him trying something new out.

"It's been very interesting to me, let's put it that way," he said. "It's not like there's only one thing. It's not like you have a high rake car and you just drop the rake and you are in a Mercedes, and you are in a Mercedes and you increase the rake and you drive a Red Bull.

"It's not like that. It's much, much more complex. There's a lot more elements that have to come together."

 

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