Conceding that Aston Martin’s results have not been what they wanted this season, Sebastian Vettel says they are running “at the back” of the midfield.
Vettel joined Aston Martin ahead of this year’s championship, both parties stating that they hoped this would be the beginning of something beautiful.
That has yet to materialise.
After a slow start, colliding with Esteban Ocon in his very first race, Vettel has slowly but surely began to find his feet.
He grabbed his first podium with his new team in Baku, benefitting from a retirement for race leader Max Verstappen and a late-race mistake from Lewis Hamilton, and looked to have secured another at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
He brought his AMR21 across the line in second place, elevated up the order in the lap 1 carnage that took out five cars, but was later disqualified for a fuel infringement.
Aston Martin announced on Thursday that they had lodged an official appeal.
For now, though, the DSQ leaves Vettel P12 in the Drivers’ Championship with the four-time World Champion having only scored in three of his 11 races with his new team.
It’s no wonder he admits he had expected more at the start of this season.
Office goals. 💚 pic.twitter.com/TKYpPFtVXp
— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) August 4, 2021
“I think we expected more at the beginning,” he told Motorsport-Total.com. “Then I guess I needed some time, and things didn’t go the way we wanted.
“But after that, we got better and better.
“Of course we haven’t achieved good results in the last few races, but I think we feel much more comfortable overall than we did at the beginning.
“So we see that it’s very tight in midfield, and if everything goes normally, we’re at the back of the midfield.
“And if we perform above average, we are in the middle or sometimes even at the front, as in Baku.”
Aston Martin’s 2021 car wasn’t helped by the FIA’s decision to reduce the downforce of the cars by cutting away a small piece of the floor just in front of the rear tyres.
That hurt the low-rake cars more than their high-rake counterparts.