Vettel not to blame for ‘being off so much’ in Melbourne

Date published: April 11 2022 - Henry Valantine

Sebastian Vettel heads through the paddock. Melbourne April 2022.

Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack says the problems Sebastian Vettel experienced in Australia were more car-related than from the driver himself.

The four-time former World Champion’s mileage in practice was extremely limited, compounding his lack of time behind the wheel after missing the first two races of the season due to testing positive for Covid-19.

The German admitted himself the car was “too much of a handful” for him at the weekend after crashing out of the race with a spin at Turn 4.

Krack agreed that was the case for his driver.

“Fortunately, I’m happy Seb is fine after all these incidents. But I think if someone like him, a four-time World Champion, has the issues he was having this weekend…this is not down to not driving because he has driven the car,” Krack told reporters.

“We need to really look at what the car is providing him, what feedback he gets from the car. Being off so much, as he has been this weekend, is not normal.”

Vettel’s return for his first start of the season left him behind in terms of his running in the AMR22. His team boss does not think his time sidelined will have affected how he drove, but rather the limitations of the car are rearing their head – and that the team need to come up with a solution quickly to arrest their decline.

“I don’t think this is related to having missed two races,” Krack added.

“He has been a multiple winner in Melbourne. He knows where he is here, he has had some tests with the car.

“I think it [would] be really easy to say he was not there for two weekends. [With] a driver of that class, we really need to check what tools we are giving him.”

Vettel himself was pragmatic about things after retiring from the race, adding his lack of practice running had been unhelpful in his preparation for the weekend, and he is hopeful his fortunes will improve after hitting what he feels is a low point for the team.

“Obviously, I tried to get the best out of the car I can, and with hindsight maybe I was pushing too hard,” he admitted afterwards.

 

“It was more challenging not to have the running, obviously partly because we lost time with the car, and then with the Saturday morning incidents – so doesn’t help, but I’m sure it will get better.

“It can’t get any worse.”

With Williams’ first point scored through Alex Albon at the weekend, Aston Martin are now plum last in the Constructors’ standings – the only team yet to get off the mark in 2022.