Sebastian Vettel has admitted it will take him time to get to grips with the AMR21, which is considerably different to his previous cars.
2021 will be Vettel’s first season driving for Aston Martin after he moved from Ferrari following six seasons with the Italian team.
It is the first time he has used a Mercedes power unit in his career and that, as well as various other things, is something he needs time to get used to.
“The car has a different philosophy. It’s a different team, a different car so it drives a bit differently. It wants to be driven differently, and with a different power unit,” said Vettel, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“Without going into detail, because I don’t think it’s fair to compare in public, but naturally these things are different and take a bit of getting used to.
“It’s a different environment inside the car as well, just in terms of the comfort. The pedals feel a bit different and the seat is a bit different. So it’s small stuff, but it’s the cumulative effect of all those things put together.”
An early finish for #SV5 due to a loss of boost pressure. We are investigating further but unfortunately that’s a wrap for our test.
— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) March 14, 2021
Vettel got his first proper experience of the car in pre-season testing in Bahrain, although he compiled the fewest laps of any driver on the 2021 grid due to reliability issues.
Reflecting on the time he did get on track though, he said the steering in particular was different to what he is used to.
“On the car, the steering feels different because it’s a different unit,” the German said.
“Obviously every F1 car has power steering, but every power steering is set up slightly differently and it gives you a different impression because ultimately when you drive, you have the wheel in your hands and that’s the feedback you get.”
Another thing he has not experienced is driving a modern F1 car with a low-rake design as Red Bull and Ferrari took the opposite approach, but he is enjoying understanding that and all the other changes.
“It’s been very interesting to me, let’s put it that way,” he said.
“It’s not like there’s only one thing. It’s not like you have a high-rake car and you just drop the rake and you are in a Mercedes, and you are in a Mercedes and you increase the rake and you drive a Red Bull.
“It’s not like that. It’s much, much more complex. There’s a lot more elements that have to come together.”