Sebastian Vettel described his Friday morning testing session as “good fun” as he put in his first timed laps in an Aston Martin car.
Last season was a tough one for Vettel, as he struggled in the lower half of the grid with Ferrari’s well below-par power unit, finishing P13 – by far his lowest ranking during a full Formula 1 season.
The four-time World Champion moved on to the newly-branded Aston Martin, formerly Racing Point, and he will be hoping to once again challenge for race victories in the near future.
While admitting he still has things to learn in the AMR21, Vettel was in high spirits following his first session on Friday.
He said: “It was good fun to be back in the car to be honest, it’s fun to work with the team.
“There’s still a lot of things I need to learn and catch up on, but for now I didn’t pay great attention to the lap times. It was more just on feeling and running through to try and get a proper read of the car, a lot of data we tried to extract.
“Maybe a bit boring at this stage, but it was fun to be in the car, fun to slide around and yeah I enjoyed it and there’s more to come in the next days.”
You've seen the #AMR21 out on track. Now it's time to climb aboard. 🤩
[Sorry about the sound… Seb was so quick he broke the mic. 😂] pic.twitter.com/dtviy7kKyv
— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) March 12, 2021
He will be back out on the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday morning, before himself and Lance Stroll change order on the Sunday, with Seb finishing the weekend off in the afternoon.
Those two extra sessions will give Vettel more time to get used to his new drive, and he will not be the only driver on the grid hoping for easier conditions than what he faced on Friday, with the sandstorm causing difficulties.
Vettel said: “There’s still a lot of new things I need to get used to. Obviously the car is different, it’s run differently, different power unit, a lot of different switches, buttons and procedures, but also in terms of handling the car’s different.
“So [it’s a] different approach and basic stuff like 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.
“It’s in all honesty been quite a tricky morning because it’s very windy and the grip was quite low. I think everybody was facing the same track conditions, but still it was very, very good for me to get a proper read about the car and getting used to all the new elements.”