Aston Martin in need of ‘a big step forward’ – Vettel

Sebastian Vettel says Aston Martin will need to make “a big step forward” in upcoming races to significantly improve its performance and to take the fight to its leading mid-field rivals.

Vettel’s Emilia Romagna GP was undermined at the outset by an overheating brake issue that forced the German to start his race from the pitlane, a setback that also led him being handed a 10)second penalty by the stewards.

While Aston Lance Stroll raced all afternoon among the top-ten, Vettel painfully advanced up to P12 until he was sidelined a lap before the checkered flag by a gearbox issue.

“It was some good time in the car, but obviously in terms of results, not much [to be positive about],” said the four-time world champion.

“We need to do a better job in a lot of areas… and we just need a bit more grip all around to get in a better place.”


Last weekend, Aston Martin implemented a few updates on its AMR21, but Vettel felt little improvement overall.

“We had a few new parts in Imola, but I think we need a big step to really make a difference,” he said. “We will get some more [upgrades] in the next races and hope to make a step forward but as I said, we are more in the back of the midfield at the moment.

“But that can change quickly if we take small steps forward and when first of all it becomes a bit calm again and we have a decent race.”

    Read also: Vettel critical of ‘not very professional’ FIA at Imola

Stroll’s eighth-place finish and points, achieved despite a 5-second penalty, was a minor consolation for Vettel, although the Canadian’s performance over the course of the weekend also underscored his teammate’s struggles to get to grips with Aston’s AMR21.

“[Lance scoring points] is good,” added Vettel. “We both had a similar issue going to the grid and then I guess he got lucky that he didn’t have to start from the pit lane.

“But it’s good to obviously at least get some points.”

Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer also tried to see the glass as half-full when judging vettel’s weekend.

“Sebastian had a troubled run that ended in a DNF just one lap from the end, which was disappointing for him and the team,” said Szafnauer.

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“But he got a lot of very useful mileage in the car, which is a positive because he is still playing catch-up to some extent as a result of his lack of running in pre-season testing.”

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