Ross Brawn believes Sebastian Vettel “has a different vibe about him” during his recent resurgence in form at Aston Martin.
The four-time former World Champion has had a difficult time in the past couple of seasons and struggled to get going in his first few races at his new team.
But a solid P5 finish in Monaco was backed up by his first podium in Aston Martin colours in Baku at the weekend – climbing nine places in the race in doing so.
Recognising the strength of his performance, fans voted Vettel as the official Driver of the Day for the second consecutive race – an assessment with which F1 managing director of motorsports Brawn agrees.
Vettel said after the chequered flag dropped that his second-place finish “meant a great deal” to him and his team, after a difficult start to the 2021 season that only saw his first points registered in Monaco.
The German overtook McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in putting himself in the top 10 in the Drivers’ Championship after his sensational run in Baku – and Brawn said it is a “pleasure” to see the former Ferrari driver up on the podium again.
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“This was a slow burner of a race, with little pockets of excitement,” Brawn said in his post-Azerbaijan Grand Prix column.
“Everything was looking like a foregone conclusion, but one thing you can say about F1 is that there are no foregone conclusions. The closing stages were dramatic.
“Max [Verstappen] did an imperious job, I can’t fault anything he did – and was ultimately unlucky. Sergio [Perez] was sensational too and Seb is having a second lease of life.
“It’s a close call but for me, my driver of the day was Seb.
“It’s a real pleasure to see him get going again. Seb’s had a tough last couple of seasons. I was one of the people who was uncertain about the decision Aston made in signing him up, but it’s looking to be a great call because of the way he’s driving and the results he’s getting.
“He’s reborn again. He’s refreshed. There’s a different vibe about him. And it just shows how the whole psychological aspect can impact performance.
“Seb has found himself in a much more comfortable place, with the right sort of pressure and with engineers whom he is learning to work with. He’s getting results and he deserves it. Bravo.”