Four-time F1 world champion Vettel has not scored any points in his first three races with Aston Martin, having struggled with instability in the rear of the car following FIA downforce cuts for 2021.
But the team hoped to remedy their struggles with an upgrade package that was used by teammate Lance Stroll last weekend in Portugal, focusing mainly on the car floor.
Vettel received his Friday training package for the Spanish Grand Prix, placing him eighth in FP1 and 11th in FP2.
The updated parts gave Vettel a boost, who said it was Aston Martin’s ‘best Friday’ of the season so far and that he felt ‘happier’ with the car. .
“Obviously the track conditions are different, but I think I generally felt a lot more at home,” said Vettel.
“It seemed to be improving. I think it’s a step forward. So it’s good to tick that off.
“Now we will try to improve the package [from] where we are now. The midfield is very tight so anything we can find will work in our favor.
“It’s also a long race, it’s hard on the tires. So there’s plenty to look for tonight.”
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, leaves the garage
Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
Vettel finished less than eight-tenths of a second behind Lewis Hamilton’s fastest time in FP2, with less than half a second separating cars from Alpine, AlphaTauri, Ferrari and Red Bull, with McLaren not far behind.
He put up a close battle to reach Q3 on Saturday, with Vettel looking to make the top 10 in qualifying in back-to-back races from Hungary and Great Britain last year.
“It’s kind of the region that we’re targeting, and I think if everything goes well we could get to that region,” Vettel said.
“But it’s going to be very, very close. There are a lot of cars fighting for these places. So we are looking for ourselves at what we can do best for tomorrow.”