Vettel: ‘Harsh’ to delete lap time, but Aston Martin ‘weak’

Jamie Woodhouse
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, pictured from ground level. Austria, July 2022.

An image of Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin AMR22 taken from ground level. Austria, July 2022.

After a third double Q1 exit on the bounce for Aston Martin, Sebastian Vettel said the pace simply was not there in Austria.

One-lap pace has been a real struggle for Aston Martin recently, both Vettel and Lance Stroll eliminated from qualifying after Q1 at Silverstone, as they had been at the Canadian Grand Prix before that.

So it was a trio of double Q1 eliminations as Vettel dropped out of Austria qualifying in P20, his final time deleted due to track limits, while Stroll managed only P17 in that Q1 session.

Nonetheless, Vettel’s time would not have been good enough to escape Q1 on an afternoon when he bluntly claimed Aston Martin were “just slow”.

Asked by reporters about that deleted lap time, Vettel replied: “We were just slow. It’s obviously quite harsh, I lost some time in the first corner, so a double penalty because we also lost the lap.

“But obviously not a great session for us.”

As for whether there had been any explanation for the poor pace, Vettel said: “No, obviously very poor and we were weak throughout the session, so obviously disappointed.”

Stroll had multiple lap times deleted for track limits during the session as the stewards clamped down on violations.

He did not try to use that in any excuse, instead backing Vettel’s claims that the AMR22 was simply not good enough to progress.

For Stroll, that was his sixth Q1 elimination in a row.

On the subject of how tricky it was to adhere to track limits, Stroll said: “Yeah, it was tricky for sure, same for everyone. It’s always a challenge here.

“Our baseline pace isn’t really there. We don’t have the load we need in the high-speed corners and we are just not even mechanically very good in the low-speed corners and the balance isn’t great.

“So when you are dealing with all of that stuff it’s always challenging.”

The positive for Aston Martin is their race pace has often been stronger, and since this is a sprint qualifying weekend it means the team will have two opportunities to make up for their latest poor showing in qualifying.

“We will obviously try and recover in the sprint and then try to get ourselves in a good place for Sunday,” Stroll confirmed.