The departure of the Aston Martin from Vettel was hampered by problems during pre-season testing, which limited its mileage and possibilities to adapt to the AMR21.
The four-time world champion qualified 18th in Bahrain after encountering a double yellow flag in his last hotlap in Q1, but was demoted to last on the grid after commissioners decided he had failed to respect the second yellow sector.
Starting in the 20th, Vettel got off to a good start but started battling tire wear earlier than his midfield rivals.
He was then given a 10 second penalty for hitting the back of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, which ended his scoring chances on his debut for Aston Martin as he came home 16th .
Asked by Autosport about the frustration of his first race with Aston Martin, Vettel admitted that he didn’t feel at home in his new car yet and said there were a lot of issues his team needed to tackle.
“It’s probably not the weekend that we were looking for, but there is a lot that we learned during the race that we need to tackle,” replied Vettel.
“We’ll see how quickly we can fix them, but I’m not at home in the car. There are a lot of things fighting me, so I can’t really focus on driving. We have to fix that. and try to fix. their. “
Vettel explained that the issues he faces extend far beyond getting used to a different car, having joined the Mercedes-powered team after five seasons at Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
When asked how far the team is from 100% racing, Vettel admitted it was “probably less than half” and he hoped solutions could be found soon.
“I would say probably less than half because there is still so much that breaks the rhythm and makes it quite difficult in terms of feeling the car and feeling what I have to do to drive fast, so there is still a lot to do, “explained the German.
“Obviously I adapt to the way the car wants to be driven, but there is obviously a lot of things that add certain inconsistencies that don’t help. I hope we can resolve a lot of issues very quickly.”
Despite a compromised start, Vettel said he feels good in his new surroundings and is optimistic that Aston Martin can still have a good 2021 season.
“Yeah great, I feel really good. Obviously I’m a little sorry for such a bad weekend because I know how much preparation is needed before the start of the season.” he added.
“On the other hand, it can only come up from here. Like I said we’ve learned a lot so it’s a lot of work ahead of us but that’s what it is and we have to. deal with it step by step.
“It’s probably not the start of the season that we wanted but I think the next few races will be very good for us to calm things down.”