Aston Martin have been hit hard by changes to F1’s aero rules for 2021 and have struggled to keep up with their midfield rivals throughout the season.
The former Racing Point team scored big points in Monaco and Baku, where Vettel won his first podium for the Silverstone team, and was one point behind AlphaTauri, fifth, after the British Grand Prix. in July.
But he has since slipped to seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship, having been largely dominated by Alpine and AlphaTauri in the second half of the season, with Vettel indicating his problems were caused. by excessive drag and lack of downforce.
“We had races where the race went really well, we had other races where I struggled a lot,” said Vettel.
“Overall what matters is how competitive you are. In terms of competition, I think our car is a bit too lagging.
“We don’t have a super efficient car, and we don’t have enough downforce. I think that’s the main weakness.
“From there it’s hard to get over that.”
The four-time world champion said he and his teammate Lance Stroll have worked to overcome Aston Martin’s weaknesses by being smart about tire wear, which opens up strategic options. Last time in Qatar, Stroll managed to grab sixth place after pulling off a one-stop strategy.
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
“Some tracks helped it, others we got over it by maybe finding a good set-up, working the tires well and finding a good strategy,” added Vettel.
“I think overall, when the car is in the window, we can do a reasonable job and score points. It’s not always easy to put it in that window first, and second, it’s is extremely competitive in the region where we race.
“It looks like halfway through the season other teams may have made a little more progress than we are now.”
The 2022 season may not be enough for Aston Martin as it hopes to capitalize on a clean slate offered by the overhaul of the rules to make a fresh start.
In the meantime, he has sought several key technical positions to strengthen the team for the long haul, with team owner Lawrence Stroll aiming to compete for world titles within five years.
MORE: Why Stroll thinks his ‘risk-free’ masterplan for Aston is achievable
Vettel says that while 2022 is still an unknown, the growth of the team returning to the factory is impossible to ignore.
“Obviously, the big unknown is for next year, what will happen next year with the change of cars and so on, but we will not be able to answer this question until next year,” he said. he declares.
“But overall the team that I find is strong. In terms of engineering and the track side, they are strong. I think they are growing quickly and a lot of projects and good things are coming.”