Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel believes that he has still a lot to learn about the Mercedes power unit after his first day of testing in the brand new Aston Martin AMR21.
The German who arrives at the Silverstone based team after six seasons at Ferrari has never used the Mercedes power unit before today, in his first timed session as an Aston Martin driver with Vettel finishing the day thirteenth fastest, completing fifty-one laps.
“There’s still a lot of new things I need to get used to; obviously, the car is different, it’s run differently, it’s a different power unit, a lot of different switches, buttons, procedures."
“But also in terms of handling, the car is different, so a different approach, and then basic stuff, steering, brakes, the car behaviour that I need to get used to, there’s still quite a bit of margin for myself, and improvement that I have to do on driving, just getting familiar with the car.”
However, Vettel has admitted that he needs to learn the power unit, stating that it feels very different from his experiences with Renault's and Ferrari's power unit.
“It’s obviously very different; it’s operated differently, so a lot of dry stuff just in terms of operation, running, is different to what I’m used to, that’s mostly for me to get up to speed."
"But obviously, in terms of performance, everybody knows the strength of the Mercedes engine, so on that front, we don’t have an excuse. I’m looking forward to it.”
Vettel played down his opening day times as his windy conditions caused all the drivers to struggle with their cars in a day marred by a sandstorm.
"It’s always related to track conditions, everybody was fighting their car, there’s still a lot of things I need to learn and catch up. For now, I didn’t pay great attention to the lap times."
“It was more just on feeling and running through our stuff to try and get a proper read of the car, a lot of data that we try to extract, maybe a bit boring at this stage, but it was fun to be in the car, fun to slide around. I enjoyed it, and there’s more to come in the next days.”
Vettel will once again drive the morning session for the second day of testing, whilst teammate Lance Stroll will take the hot seat in the afternoon once more.