The future looked bright for Racing Point at the dawn of the 2020 season. A final P4 in the standings, a time of rebranding to the Aston Martin name, and the new addition of a 4 times World Champion to complete the pair of drivers, the Silverstone-based racing team was full of hope.
Now, when the sun is about to set on another F1 season, Aston Martin has been far from reaching the expectations that the team commands, and the 34-year-old German starts to evaluate the feeling of the season, two races to go to the end of it: “We had races where the race felt really good, we had other races where I struggled a lot," Vettel said as reported by motorport.com
"Overall, what matters is how competitive you are. In competitive terms, I think our car is a bit too draggy. We are not having a super-efficient car, plus we don’t have enough downforce. That I think is the main weakness. From there, it’s difficult to overcome that."
Even though the AMR21 has been far from being a comfortable challenger to fight in the upper part of the grid, Lance Stroll has achieved sporadic good results for the team, as was his latest P6 at the Qatar GP, wrapping good performances that, altogether with Vettel’s podium in Baku means some good results for the team that now looks forward to the regulation changes in 2022.
"Some tracks helped it, other tracks we overcame it by maybe finding a good set-up and working well on tyres and finding a good strategy."
"I think overall, when the car is in the window, then we can do a reasonable job and get into points. It’s first not always easy to get it into that window, and second, it’s extremely competitive in the area where we race.”
Aston Martin finds itself P7 in the constructor’s general standings, just above Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas. The British Green Racing Team is, from all 10 on the grid, the one that shown the greatest setback in its development compared to the 2020 season, when the still branded Racing Point arrived to Abu Dhabi in the last race of 2020 fighting to achieve P3 in the team’s championship.
Vettel knows that, throughout the progress of the 2021 season, Aston Martin was not the best to make up for lost ground either: "It seems like halfway through the season maybe other teams made a bit more progress than us now," he said.
"Obviously, the big unknown is for next year, what’s happening next year with the cars changing and so on, but we will only be able to answer that question next year," he added.
"But overall, the team I find is strong. In terms of engineering and in terms of trackside, it’s strong. I think it’s growing at pace and lots of plans and good things are coming."