Vettel: If P17 is not disappointing to you then…

Date published: December 5 2021 - Michelle Foster

Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin. Saudi Arabia December 2021

Failing to make it out of Q1 in Saudi Arabia, Sebastian Vettel says Aston Martin is “just not a good match” for the Jeddah circuit.

Vettel finished Saturday night’s qualifying down in 17th place, one position ahead of his team-mate Lance Stroll.

The only team that was slower was Haas, with Vettel two-tenths off a Q2 berth and Stroll a further two-tenths adrift.

Told of his qualifying position after the chequered flag, Vettel was surprised: “What?! Oh man!”

Speaking to the media after the session, it was put to him that he sounded disappointed.

His reply: “Qualifying P17, if that’s not disappointing to you then… except for the Haas because their car is clearly the worst on the grid.”

The German admitted he expected to be higher up the order as “the laps feel good, the balance – once we get it – is okay

“But we are miles away. And then you look at the onboards of the others and there’s no secret, they’re just faster.”

He reckons Aston Martin’s lack of pace has more to do with the characteristics of the circuit not suiting the AMR21.

“Nothing changed, it’s the same car,” Vettel said.

“I think we’re just not a good match to this track.

“We struggled a bit to get the tyres to work but I think so did everybody.

“I guess just not efficient around here. It doesn’t play to our strengths.”

As for Stroll, he too was very unhappy with his qualifying showing, blaming traffic as he was not able to do a hot lap when his tyres were at their best.

“I am really disappointed to have ended up in P18 because traffic at the end of the session ruined my qualifying,” he said.

“It was like a parking lot and there was nothing I could do. As a result, I was not able to put in a flying lap when the track and tyres were at their optimum and it proved very costly.

 

“I think we would have had enough to make it into Q2 otherwise. We will go away and review to see if there is anything we could have done differently.

“We have never raced here before, so we will have to see how the Grand Prix plays out tomorrow and try to make up some places.”