The team, started as Jordan in 1991, arrived fourth in the Constructors’ championships as Racing Point last year, has been re-branded into Aston Martin Cognizant F1 team. The famous James Bond’s car manufacturer-team will make its comeback to the F1 grid for the first time in more than 60 years.
Ahead of their AM21 car reveal on Wednesday, which will take place on a purposely designed platform called “The Vault”, starting from 12:00 GMT; Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer talked extensively about 33-year-old Sebastian Vettel joining the team.
After a pretty rough divorce with former team Ferrari – and an even worse season, finishing 13th with only 33 conquered points – the German has joined Canadian Lance Stroll in place of Sergio Perez.
"It's a start of a new beginning, for both myself and the team", Vettel commented.
Szafnauer told Reuters that the 33-year-old German, who won his four F1 World titles while racing for Red Bull between 2010-13, already made a strong impression at the factory.
“He’s working incredibly hard,” said the TP
“I can attest to the fact that he’s really motivated. But I don’t think the motivation is to prove the nay-sayers wrong. I think it’s just how he is.
“I think he’s just driven to do the best he can.”
Aston Martin has zero doubts about Sebastian Vettel’s desire to win. Szafnauer is convinced everyone, from young teammate Lance Stroll to the rest of the team, would learn tons from Vettel.
“The partners, the employees, all of us are going to be lifted by the fact he’s won four times and he knows what it takes,” he said.
The four-times World champion is determined to shoo away any critique and is ready for a for a fresh start after troublesome and error-scattered seasons at Ferrari.
At the same time, Szafnauer praised the German for having remained extremely kind and down-to-earth – He recounted how the driver gifted the team home-baked loaves of bread the first he went to visit the factory.
“He can easily go buy a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers but that’s not him. He’ll come with ‘I baked this loaf of bread’,” he said.
Vettel is already well-integrated in the team, commented the Team principal.
“And he really, really likes British humour. It’s not to find a common thread, it’s just who he is. So far he’s fitted in really, really well here.”
Last year Racing Point had a particularly good season, arriving fourth in the constructors’ championship, only due to a 15-points deduction, following Renault’s protests. However, both Sergio Perez and Lance Troll got on the podium two-times each, with the Mexican winning his first race in Bahrain last December.
If there’s anyone who can replicate last year’s good performances, that is undoubtedly Sebastian Vettel.
“It’s really, really hard to win a race if you are the third-fastest car but not impossible, as we proved last year,” he said.
“Can Seb do it? For sure.”