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Aston Martin chief Szafnauer: "Sebastian Vettel is already driving us forward"

Vettel at his last Grand Prix for Ferrari. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Vettel at his last Grand Prix for Ferrari. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Nico Boyce
Modified 14 Feb 2021

Sebastian Vettel is already making a difference at the newly renamed Aston Martin F1 team, according to an interview with their Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer.

Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport (AMuS) about their new partnership with four-time champion Vettel, Szafnauer was clear on the positive influence that the German driver is having on the team at this early stage:

"Sebastian Vettel has already instructed our race engineers (on) which data he needs to help us with the vehicle setup. He's already helped us improve the ergonomics in the cockpit. For example, where the switches belong and how they should be used to make the car easier to operate. He's already driven in the simulator and compared it to others he knows," Szafnauer explained.

Szafnauer has been with the Silverstone team since 2009 (when it was under the Force India name) and rose to the level of CEO and Team Principal with the departure of former chief Robert Fernley and former owner Vijay Mallya.

Vettel joins Aston Martin on the back of a lean period in his career, having not stood atop the podium since Singapore 2019 and with a best result of third place with Ferrari in 2020. The 33 year old had his most successful period with Red Bull Racing, where he became the youngest-ever Formula 1 world champion in 2010.

Vettel full of questions for Aston Martin

Szafnauer is clear that Vettel is a key addition to the team, who have already tasted victory in Sakhir as their former incarnation Racing Point:

"Sebastian Vettel is already driving us forward. He is very inquisitive. He keeps asking us: Why do you do it this way and why not differently? In just two days he had so many questions. He not only asks us questions, but also passes on his experiences."

"There will be a lot more to come. Sebastian has only been with us for a few days. And already, in this short time, he has given us this useful feedback. He hasn't even driven our car yet. We can still learn so much from him." Aston Martin boss Otmar feels Vettel is the man to push them forward to regular victory contention in 2021.

Published 14 Feb 2021, 21:23 IST
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