Sebastian Vettel made his free practice debut for Aston Martin today. It was not the best of starts for the four-time world champion. Aston Martin's onboard cameras showed their drivers suffering massively from a lack of balance in the car. When questioned about his first day with the team Sebastian Vettel felt he left a lot on the table and with more laps under his belt, he could potentially reach the limit of the car.
Sebastian Vettel finished the first practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix in 12th, after a time of 1:33.157. He was 1.763 seconds away from leader Max Verstappen. However, the German was over a second faster than his teammate, Lance Stroll. FP2 did not go any better for the four-time world champion as he finished in 14th. Vettel did post a faster lap time of 1:31.769 and closed the gap to the Dutchman who led the timing sheets again. Vettel's Canadian teammate was four-tenths faster than the German at the end of the second practice session.
Speaking about his hectic day with Aston Martin, Sebastian Vettel said:
"Well, it was busy. We tried to get the most out of the time that we had. So I think every lap still helps you to get used to the car, and get into a rhythm. I'm trying a lot of things. Still, I think there's a lot to try, a lot to learn. It seems like fun."
When asked if he could extract the potential from the car, Sebastian Vettel said:
"I feel that there's still a lot left on the table just to get used to the car, and being able to squeeze the limit. Right now it seems a bit up and down."
Going into the specifics of his struggles, the four-time world champion explained:
"Sometimes I'm really good, in other corners I'm far out. But that's normal, but hopefully come tomorrow with more consistent running, I'm able to squeeze the limit everywhere."
We're trying some new things: Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has revealed that Aston Martin have been trying new things to improve performance and stability. However, the shorter practice sessions have not helped the cause for the British team. The curtailed nature of free practice has made it crucial for teams to hit the mark early.
Going in the wrong direction for a particular Grand Prix could mean a crucial hour of practice wasted, a luxury that midfield teams like Aston Martin cannot afford.
Speaking about the impact of the shortened test, Sebastian Vettel said:
"It is what it is. We are obviously now looking into some of the stuff that we tried in the afternoon or the evening, and hopefully, it will be a bit more clear and calmer tomorrow, but I think that's probably true for all the rest of the pack as well."