It was yet another disappointing weekend for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team driver Sebastian Vettel at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The four-time FIA Formula 1 World Champion just can’t catch a break as he tries to find his title winning form. Whereas teammate Lance Stroll had a solid race which saw him finish in the points.
It was a poor start to the race for Vettel, who had to start the race from the pit-lane due to the tyres not being on his car in time. The race didn’t get any better for the German who was awarded a time penalty which ultimately ended any distant hope of a points finish.
Whilst in eighteenth Vettel who took the gamble to be the first driver on the slicks. The gamble failed to pay off as the drying track was still too wet for the medium compound tyres.
As George Russell and Valtteri Bottas’s crash brought out the red flag, Vettel gambled yet again at the race restart, opting for the soft tyres. In similar fashion to the first gamble, this one too failed to pay off.
Eventually with only a handful of laps remaining the team decided to retire the car, Vettel will be hoping for better luck in Portugal.
“Things did not go our way today. Even before the race, we had issues going to the grid and I had to start from the pit lane. That was not too painful because it was a wet start to the race, but the time penalty changed everything, especially because it came 20 minutes into the race.”
“The track conditions were quite difficult in the beginning and it was hard to overtake, but a dry line soon appeared. We gambled on fitting the dry tyres early and, as the track dried more, there was a phase of the race where we were actually quite strong.”
“Then there was the red flag, which was the right decision, and for the restart we chose to fit the soft tyres and gambled on a standing start happening, but they decided on a rolling start. Those soft tyres obviously had higher degradation compared to the medium, which made things more difficult at the end.”
“I really enjoyed myself today” – Stroll
It was a great performance for Canadian Lance Stroll who despite managing a gear shift problem late on, brought the car home in eighth place to make it back to back points finishes after coming tenth in Bahrain.
The race was nearly over before it had even begun for Stroll, his Aston Martin mechanics had to rush around the car minutes before the start after Stroll too had a brake problem needing immediate repair. The problem was visible to all after the Aston Martin’s brakes caught fire, something rarely seen on the drive round to the grid.
Stroll put it all behind him though and put in a solid performance in very tricky conditions at Imola, meaning that he has now beaten experienced teammate Vettel at both of the races so far this season. Will he make it three out of three in Portugal?
“That was a lot of fun with some exciting racing. We have scored some important points and I really enjoyed myself today. The weather made things a little bit interesting and we made the most of it.”
“All credit to the crew on the grid for getting my car repaired after the brake problem, too. We also overcame a gear shift issue, which cost us lap time, but we managed to hang on until the end.”
“It was just a very busy afternoon with so much happening, so I am really pleased to have scored six points. The car was nicely balanced this weekend, but we still have some work to do to catch the teams ahead of us. That is where our focus is now as we get ready for Portugal.”