Sebastian Vettel might have been relieved to flee the calamity that was Ferrari’s 2020 Method One season, however it seems his transfer to Aston Martin is not going to return him to the entrance of the grid anytime quickly.
That is as a result of the workforce, which claimed a win with Sergio Perez final 12 months, has been one of many hardest hit by rule adjustments remodeled the low season.
After the controversy final 12 months, when their automotive (then referred to as Racing Level) was labelled the ‘Pink Mercedes’ it appears Aston Martin has dropped down the pecking order for 2021.
Having challenged for a podium finally 12 months’s Bahrain Grand Prix earlier than Perez suffered an engine failure, the workforce was barely capable of scrape into the highest 10 this time round.
Lance Stroll certified tenth and that is the place he completed, whereas Vettel certified 18th after being hampered by yellow flags on his remaining lap. The four-time world champion finally trailed house in fifteenth spot (in any other case often called second final) over a lap behind race-winner Lewis Hamilton.
“I do not really feel at house within the automotive. Many issues are preventing towards me in order that I can’t consider the driving,” Vettel advised German TV after the race.
“There are a whole lot of issues that we’ve got to deal with. Among the others have been two seconds quicker.”
Vettel picked up 5 penalty factors on his licence in a horror weekend. He was penalised three factors, and despatched to the again of the grid, for not slowing sufficiently for the yellow flags in qualifying, then hit with an additional two factors, and a ten second penalty through the race, after he bumped into the again of Esteban Ocon’s Alpine.
“I used to be attempting to chop again to the left, however Esteban was shifting left as properly,” Vettel mentioned.
“After I was proper behind him I locked the fronts and hit him straight on. Clearly, that was not nice for each of our races.”
If a driver accumulates 12 penalty factors over a 12-month interval he’s banned for a race. Vettel had no factors coming into this race.
Of better long-term concern is the tempo of the Aston Martin, which together with Mercedes, seems to have suffered probably the most from the rule adjustments.
Group boss Otmar Szafnauer was fairly vocal over the weekend in claiming that the adjustments in dimensions of the ground of the automotive have harm people who run low rake. The rake of a automotive refers back to the follow of working the rear at the next ride-height than the entrance. Most notably, the Purple Bull, when seen from side-on, is considerably larger on the rear than the entrance.
Whereas all automobiles have been slower in qualifying this weekend than they have been on the identical observe simply 4 months in the past, it was the low-rake automobiles of Mercedes and Aston Martin that suffered probably the most, as much as a second a lap greater than their rivals.
That is created what appears to be like to be a titanic battle on the entrance between Mercedes and Purple Bull, however for Aston Martin, the results are large given the already small margins within the midfield.
“I am not blissful,” Szafnauer mentioned. “And after I say I am not blissful, I imply I am not blissful for our two nice drivers, I am not blissful for the five hundred nice women and men who designed, constructed and at the moment are working our new automotive, and I am not blissful for our sponsors and followers.
“After rigorously analysing information from testing and this weekend, it’s clear that the new-for-2021 aero rules have impacted automobiles with a low-rake aero philosophy considerably extra damagingly than automobiles with a high-rake aero philosophy.
“So, Mercedes and ourselves have suffered, whereas the high-rake aero philosophy automobiles comparable to these of Purple Bull and Alpha Tauri, and McLaren and Ferrari, haven’t.
“We can’t make a change to a high-rake aero philosophy automotive even when we needed to, and neither can Mercedes, as a result of the suspension on this 12 months’s automobiles has been homologated.”
Rival workforce boss Franz Tost mentioned Aston Martin had loads of catching as much as do.
“In actuality, the automotive shouldn’t be that good,” he advised German publicataion Motor und Sport.
“It is vitally unstable on the rear finish.”
Timing is all the things in motor racing. Lewis Hamilton would have one world title to his identify, relatively than seven, had he stayed at McLaren as a substitute of switching to Mercedes in 2013.
Now it seems Vettel, having jumped out of the frying pan at Ferrari, has landed within the fireplace at Aston Martin.
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