Vettel: Whether the car really is better, I’m not so sure

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel out on track. Montreal June 2022

Fourth fastest in Friday’s practice in Montreal, Sebastian Vettel admits he was “surprised” that things went “so well” for Aston Martin.

Formula 1 returned to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday after a two-year absence.

Vettel was quickly up to speed on a circuit where he won in 2013, again in 2018, and the less said to him about his 2019 near-miss the better.

He clocked a 1:14.442 to finish 0.315s off Max Verstappen’s pace-setting time.

“It was surprising that things are going so well,” said the Aston Martin driver to Sky Deutschland.

“I really enjoy the track. If you have confidence in the car, you can get a little more out of this track.”

Aston Martin trialled a new rear wing on Friday with Vettel saying so far, so good.

“We had a few things that we wanted to try,” he added. “We succeeded.

“Whether they’re really better now or not, I’m not so sure. But at least everything has worked out so far.

“In the first practice session I didn’t quite manage the lap. It was much better in the second practice session. And I hope we can improve [the car] a bit for Saturday. And then we’ll see what’s in it.”

The day, though, wasn’t without a few hiccups for the driver.

“This is a tricky circuit to get right, especially after a couple of years away – I lost the car a couple of times on the approach to Turn One – but, overall, the car was pretty well behaved,” he said.

Looking ahead to qualifying, which could take place on a wet circuit, Vettel added: “I think we need to be realistic about qualifying; we’re improving all the time but we still have some work to do.

“I think Saturday could be tricky – the conditions have been unpredictable all weekend and it looks likely to be another wet-dry day. But I’m looking forward to whatever the weather throws at us.”

Former driver turned Sky Sports pundit, Ralf Schumacher, believes his compatriot is benefitting from Aston Martin’s upgraded car.

“The B version seems to be getting more and more rolling. Here also with both [drivers],” he said. “Although Stroll was not so much in the second practice session [ to see], but in the first quite decent.”

Vettel has scored in the past two races to bring his tally for the season up to 13 points.