Sebastian Vettel’s troubled debut with Aston Martin in Bahrain hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of the German driver who underscored at Imola his team’s great spirit and how he’s feeling comfortable in his new environment.
Vettel’s opening race of 2021 was a story of errors from qualifying to race day that undermined his weekend and saw him visit the stewards’ office at Sakhir more often than his cares to remember.
Vettel was hit with a grid penalty in Bahrain for failing to respect a yellow flag in qualifying, and then clumsily ran into the back of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon on race day, a mishap that cost the four-time world champion a 10-second penalty and more penalty points on his licence.
But Vettel is determined to make up at Imola for his poor opening salvo with Aston, hopefully perhaps with the help of a few updates implemented on the team’s AMR21.
“Well the team is great, I think the spirit is great in the team and I feel really comfortable, so I’m enjoying the work and the efforts that are going in,” he said on Thursday in Italy.
“We have a little bit of new bits for this weekend. Hopefully they will make us a little bit faster; we struggled a little bit with pace in the first race but it’s only the start of the season, so yeah, I think we should have a better race here.”
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Vettel said that he didn’t dwell on his mistakes in Bahrain or the frustration they induced, but he did take away a few lessons from his actions.
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At Imola, the German will be seeking first and foremost a “clean and uninterrupted” race, preferably in the points.
“I think the key is that I understand what happened, and I think I did, and you try to learn from it,” he said.
“I’m quite sure it wouldn’t happen again but… going forwards there’s always things you can learn from your mistakes and what mistakes others are making.
“But for sure I mean, the target is to have clean races and not to have anything interrupting that.
“So, I think that’s the expectation I set of myself and… the level that I want to be at obviously doesn’t excuse things like this happening.”
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