After being away from Formula 1 as a team, the United Kingdom luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin have now returned full-time to the championship after being away for more than 50 years. The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team which have taken over the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team from 2021 have still some improvements to do to the new car after the success in 2020.
On the first free practice session of the 2021 season took place at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain, the Aston Martin team drivers of the newly recruited four-time championship winner Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll were not showing great pace as both of them were outside of the top ten fastest times in the Free Practice 1. Both of them were just over one second behind the top-runner, which was Red Bull Racing´s Max Verstappen.
The Free Practice 2 session was faster despite the teams having to face quite windy conditions, Stroll managed to improve his time by taking the eight fastest time of 1.31.393 meanwhile Vettel lost some ground and finished the session with fourteenth fastest time of 1.31.769, both of the drivers did run their cars on the softest compound that is available this weekend.
“It was great to be back in the car today and I’m excited to get racing again,” Stroll explained.
“Today was the first real indication of everyone’s performance and you can see that the middle of the grid is very close and competitive. It was a little tricky on track with the high winds – a bit like it was in testing at times.”
“Today’s practice sessions also reminded me just how important it is to get the little details right, so we will work hard tonight and go over all the data to find improvements where we can.”
Vettel is still adapting with the new car and hopes to improve his pace
Vettel had a disrupted test during both of the free practice sessions, and the team worked hard to ensure he could get as much track time as it was possible during the day so he gets more comfortable with his new car for the year.
“It’s very busy with less time in the practice sessions, but we were able to get a lot out of it,” Vettel explained.
“Every lap helps me get more used to the car and I’m able to find more of a rhythm. I’m still trying a lot of things and learning as I go, so I’m looking forward to going over the data and coming back tomorrow with the insights we have gained.”
“The car was really promising in some corners and less so in others, but that’s normal at this stage of the season. We will work tonight to find a more consistent balance. As you can see, the midfield is very tight and everyone is learning quickly, but I hope we will be a factor.”