Sebastian Vettel isn’t waiting around to make his presence felt at Aston Martin following his move over the winter from Ferrari.
“I think we’re going to get the best out of Seb, I really do,” said the team’s technical director Andy Green on Wednesday at the launch of the AMR21.
“He has integrated into the team very quickly, his contribution started immediately,” he added in comments made to RACER.com this week.
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Vettel is hoping to put his terrible final season at Maranello firmly in the rear-view mirror as soon as possible.
The four time world champion finished in 13th place in the driver standings with just 33 points and just one podium appearance in 2020. But Green insisted that despite his poor season, Vettel was far from a spent force.
“He’s at the top of his career, he’s there,” Green stated. “If we can’t extract the best out of Seb it’s our fault not his. I’m confident we can get Seb in the right place.
“We haven’t really got into the where his head was at previously. We’re a team looking forward.”
Much of the blame for for Vettel’s painful season last year was put on the design of the car which favoured the driving style of his team mate Charles Leclerc. Green pledged that this wouldn’t be the case at Aston Martin.
“He does have his own personal driving style, but that’s no different to the driving style we’ve seen from other drivers,: he said, suggesting that his predecessor Sergio Perez had been even more distinctive.
“I’d say not as extreme as the driver he’s replacing, who had a very extreme driving style that was very difficult to get right at all tracks,” Green explained. “It shone on certain tracks and not on others.
“Seb’s style is a lot less extreme, and we have the tools and the capability to tune the car to suit him for sure.
“We’ve already started working on that,” Green confirmed. “We’ve been working on that on the simulator for the last month, and he seems very happy with the direction that we’ve taken, so no problems there.”
Vettel himself said he was optimistic about the new season. “I’m really looking forward to the racing this year,” he told the Top Gear website.
“Racing means not just racing the car and enjoying the driving, but also working with people who are like-minded, obsessed with finding another couple of thousandths, obsessed with optimising, to think of new ways around a problem.
“That for me is racing, it’s not just turn up drive and go back. It’s really living and breathing the whole together with like-minded people.”
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As for the team’s objective this year, Vettel agreed with team principal Otmar Szafnauer that it would be to secure third place in the constructors championship.
“Obviously, for me, I’m new, I don’t know the team, the car,” he said. “[But] the team finished fourth last year and maybe should have finished third, so that’s the obvious target.
“It’s a bit hard to say, but normally after a couple races you know where you are so I think we have to be patient.
“We need to focus on ourselves and not worry about stuff that is not in our control,” he added. “Obviously the favourites are going to be Mercedes and probably the number one challenger is Red Bull.”
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