At the stroke of midnight of the new year, the new adventure of Aston Martin in Formula 1 officially began. The British car giant, which will return after more than 60 years as a manufacturer, at the end of the long experience (100 GPs between 2016 and 2020) with Red Bull, decided to bet on the talent and the image of Sebastian Vettel, and the German driver did the same with his new team.
"It was more a matter of curiosity" - Vettel explained - "I am extremely enthusiastic about the project and can't wait to start working actively. Nobody can give you guarantees, but the term 'curiosity' already has a lot of positive energy and I trust this."
In the last few days, many are wondering why the German driver hasn't yet had the opportunity to try his new and shiny car, like Carlos Sainz did with Ferrari and Yuki Tsunoda with Alpha Tauri.
The spanish driver, who will wear a "flaming" Ferrari suit this season, had the opportunity to become familiar with the color red, in Fiorano, setting some good lap times with the SF71H (2018 car).
According to the regulation, in fact, tests can be carried out using cars that are at least two seasons older than the current one, so Sebastian will have to wait for the winter tests in Bahrain to start working on the track together with his team.
"Being a customer team, we don't have power units and gearboxes available to equip an old car and go on track, because we have them under lease and we must return them to the supplier company at the end of the season" Otmar Szafnauer explained, during an interview with the German newspaper Auto Motor und Sport.
However, Vettel has already visited the Silverstone headquarter to do the seat test and to drive the simulator. Aston Martin technicians are waiting again for the four-time world champion to submit him to the verification of the latest updates: "I haven't found in Sebastian a driver in a crisis of confidence, after the difficult year in Ferrari" - explained Szafnauer - "his presence in the factory also depends on the restrictions related to the Coronavirus. For now, he exchanges impressions with the technicians twice a week and we are waiting for him to try the latest specification of the simulator, the most updated one."
Then Szafnauer gave some examples of how Sebastian Vettel can improve the team: "First, he can bring the experience and working methods of his world championship days. He has already instructed our race engineers what data he needs to help us with the vehicle setup. It has already helped us improve the ergonomics of the cabin. For example, where the switches belong and how they should be used to make the car easier to use. He has already driven in the simulator and compared it with others he knows".
"In this short period of time he has already provided us with useful feedback. He hasn't driven our car yet. We can still learn a lot from him and, thus, improve. Lance, who has far less experience than Sebastian in Formula 1, can also benefit from this, he is a very talented and fast driver. Together they can take our team to the next level"- he added- "We have the same philosophy of how we want to race. Performance is the top priority for us. We strive to have the fastest car possible. This also applies to other areas, such as the crew in the pits with tire changes. We want to get the most out of the races, including victories. Here's what it is. And that's exactly what Sebastian is about. Our running philosophies are 100% the same. So we will work very well together to optimize our performance".
He also referred to Sebastian difficult time in Ferrary by saying that he's very confident now: "He is very curious. 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 he also conveys his experiences. This is exactly what we need. We want to transform every stone to improve performance so that we can say in March that we have made the most of our possibilities during the winter. Both Seb and us as a team. I don't see a lack of motivation, no lack of self-confidence".
There is a relationship based on trust between the team and the German driver, and Sebastian Vettel's experience and team spirit will certainly bring great benefits to him and to his team.