Former Formula 1 driver Karl Wendlinger said Sebastian Vettel was better than the Aston Martin AMR21 in Monaco.
After a tricky start to life at Aston Martin Vettel is starting to silence the doubters, and in Monaco delivered by far his strongest race for the team to cross the line P5.
With that result Vettel jumped up to P11 in the Drivers’ Championship, overtaking his team-mate Lance Stroll who now sits one place and one point behind Vettel in the standings.
Wounded by the new aerodynamic rules, Aston Martin have found themselves on the back foot for most of the 2021 campaign.
Wendlinger believes Vettel was very much the difference maker in Monaco, rather than the machinery.
“Vettel was very, very good all weekend, better than the car,” he told Sport1’s AvD Motor & Sport magazine, as quoted by Speedweek.com.
“Vettel is much better able to cope with his car than in the weeks before. So he was able to get a lot out of Monaco.”
The four-time World Champion was of course helped out on the day by pole-sitter Charles Leclerc failing to take the race start, while Valtteri Bottas suffered a DNF after pitting from P2 and encountering a faulty wheel nut.
So, is this truly the beginning of a Vettel turnaround? Wendlinger feels we need more to time to answer that, but said Vettel must now be comfortable in the Aston Martin, otherwise that result in Monaco could not have been possible.
“We’ll see if it’s a turnaround. He felt comfortable for the first time. You have to feel comfortable in the car in order to achieve such a result in Monaco,” he said.
A key moment in Vettel’s Monaco GP was his battle with Pierre Gasly.
On the run up the hill after Vettel had exited the pits, the German kept his nerve and completed the overtake at Massenet, a pass which Gasly respected as good hard, racing, but also one which could have left the pair of them “in the harbour“.