Sebastian Vettel sums up Aston Martin’s problems: Not very quick

Michelle Foster
Aston Martin mechanics work on Sebastian Vettel's car. Hungaroring July 2022.

Aston Martin mechanics work on Sebastian Vettel's car at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Hungaroring July 2022.

Fighting an Aston Martin AMR22 lacking balance and grip, Sebastian Vettel says the team’s efforts to catch up are not being helped by the budget cap.

The introduction of the all-new ground-effect aerodynamic cars was, Aston Martin hoped, the chance for Formula 1’s midfield to launch an attack on the big three.

Aston Martin, though, have instead gone backwards.

The team have bagged only 25 points this season to sit ninth in the Constructors’ Championship and there are very few signs things are coming right.

Vettel and his team-mate Lance Stroll retired from the Italian Grand Prix, neither driver inside the top 10 when their cars ran into trouble.

With only one double points haul the entire season, Vettel concedes while it has never been easy to play catch-up in Formula 1, the budget cap has made it even more difficult.

“It’s the same old game, nothing has changed,” said the German driver. “It’s been like this for as long as I remember.

“I’ve never seen a team start last at the beginning of the season and be at the front at the end of the season.

“You don’t catch up and probably this is the hardest year to catch up because you can’t spend money, so it is what it is – we try.

“Here and there we show a little bit more but on this track, for some reason, we are not very quick in the corners and not very quick on the straights.

“It’s not a good compromise.”

Again qualifying proved to be a sore point for Aston Martin, both drivers out in Q1. The last time Vettel made it through to the second segment was at Paul Ricard, five races prior.

Asked how hard it would be dealing with Aston Martin qualifying’s woes in the final six races of his F1 career, he replied: “I have all the answers I need and I have to deal with them.

“I’m happy with that. I know in different circumstances I can also do a different job.

“I try my best and finish the job the way I like to do the job, which is to do it properly, give it all I have and that will be the end.

“The sun will still come up the Monday after the last race. It will be sad but I won’t miss days like this, to be honest.”

Aston Martin later revealed a suspected ERS failure had brought Vettel’s Sunday at Monza to an early end, while Stroll was told to park the car to “save engine mileage after falling a lap down with 15 laps remaining”.