Vettel wants to ‘get the ball rolling’ in Belgium

Jon Wilde
Sebastian Vettel is cheered across the line as he crosses the line second in the Hungarian GP. Hungaroring August 2021.

Sebastian Vettel is cheered across the line by the Aston Martin team as he crosses the line second in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Hungaroring August 2021.

Sebastian Vettel is keen to “get the ball rolling” points-wise at the Belgian Grand Prix following his Hungarian disqualification woe.

Along with his Aston Martin team, Vettel missed out on 18 points when he was thrown out of second place hours after the Hungaroring race as there was insufficient fuel remaining in the car for a sample to be taken.

Despite the team later providing new information, a right of review was rejected and they decided to abandon the appeal process – which meant the German’s valiant drive, chasing winner Esteban Ocon all the way, was ultimately in vain.

The disqualification meant rather than being 10th in the Drivers’ Championship, just two points behind Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly, Vettel is 12th, while Aston Martin would have been two points adrift of sixth-placed AlphaTauri instead of 20.

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer recently said fifth position, currently held by Alpine, is the best his team can achieve this season and Vettel wants to make inroads towards that target – starting at Spa-Francorchamps.

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“It’s a very busy end to the season with several triple-headers, so momentum will be key to the midfield fight,” said Azerbaijan Grand Prix runner-up Vettel in the team’s race preview.

“We want to be scoring good points at Spa to really get the ball rolling and to put pressure on the teams ahead.

“I think every driver on the grid enjoys racing at Spa and it’s definitely one of my favourite places to drive a Formula 1 car because of the layout and the special combination of corners.

“I have great memories of Spa having won here in 2011, 2013 and 2018, so I can’t wait to get back on track.”

Belgium is a special race for several drivers and they include Vettel’s team-mate Lance Stroll, whose mother, Claire-Anne, is from that country.

“It’s been nice to have a break and come back with maximum focus and determination for the second half of the year,” said the 22-year-old Canadian, who has finished at the bottom end of the points in both of the last two Belgian Grands Prix.

“Spa is always a home race of sorts for me because of my Belgian heritage. It’s one of my favourite grands prix of the year – anything can happen at Spa!”