Sebastian Vettel says it’s up to him and his team to be able to “unleash” the pace from his Aston Martin after appearing sluggish in France on Friday.
Vettel and team-mate Lance Stroll were both well outside the top 10 in both Friday practice sessions at Paul Ricard, with the German sliding off track in FP1 and damaging his rear wing, costing him valuable time on track.
But with another tight midfield battle expected, Vettel says he and his Aston Martin crew have to put in the hard yards to improve going into qualifying.
“I had an off this morning which cost us some time but overall I think it was okay,” Vettel said in the Paul Ricard paddock.
“Not a great day, there’s obviously a lot of things that we can do better but I think that’s a positive.
“I feel we’ve got more in the car, so it’s up to us to unleash it. But for sure, it’s going to be very tight.
“I haven’t seen much of the times but I would expect it to be very tight, so we have some work ahead of us.”
Catch up time. 💚 pic.twitter.com/YTPw3WBxLe
— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) June 18, 2021
Aston Martin decided to run on the medium tyres during practice rather than opting to do soft-tyre running in the second practice session, but Vettel is beginning to feel more comfortable behind the wheel.
“Yeah, a little bit more,” he said when asked if the car was starting to come to him. “In the long run, it was good to get some consecutive laps but, for the flying lap, it wasn’t great.
“I had a mistake so it doesn’t look that good on the board, but it’s Friday and it doesn’t really matter.
“The most important thing is that we get a good feel and I know what to do tomorrow in qualifying.”
Several drivers voiced their struggles with the weather conditions in the south of France, with a strong wind catching people out and high temperatures leading to tyre struggles, particularly on the softs – but Vettel said those problems were not unique to him alone.
“It caught me out this morning, you can’t see what the wind is doing,” quipped the four-time World Champion.
“Obviously we’ll get a feel for it but it’s difficult to see whether there’s a gust or not. But it’s the same for all of us, so it is what it is.”
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