Formula 1

Aston Martin’s Otmar Szafnauer: “Our objective must therefore be a double-points finish”

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Credit: Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team

Otmar Szafnauer, the CEO and Team Principal of the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team, says a double-points finish for the team in the British Grand Prix is the target after both Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll made progress during the first-ever Sprint Qualifying race on Saturday.

Vettel started tenth on Saturday afternoon and was able to take eighth place at the end of the seventeen-lap race, while Stroll gained one position from his starting spot to take fourteenth.

Szafnauer says Vettel could possibly have taken seventh as he fell in behind Fernando Alonso, who was struggling with the soft Pirelli tyre towards the end of the race, but it was not worth risking what they already had in favour of moving up just one more spot.

“We achieved our objective in today’s Sprint – to make progress with both cars – which we did,” said Szafnauer.  “Lance suffered poor rear grip but nonetheless did extremely well to earn a P14 grid slot for tomorrow’s race.

“Sebastian finished eighth, close behind [Fernando] Alonso, whose Soft tyres were shot by the end, but obviously there was no point in Sebastian risking a back-row start for tomorrow’s race by attempting to wrest P7 from Alonso, especially for no points reward. He will therefore start tomorrow’s race from a solid P8, from where he ought to be able to score points.

“From P14, over a full-distance 52-lap race, Lance, too, will be aiming to make up places and score points.”

Vettel will start eighth and Stroll fourteenth on Sunday, and Szafnauer says both drivers have the opportunity to bring home some points in the first home Grand Prix for the team since the Aston Martin name returned to Formula 1 this year.

“Our objective must therefore be a double-points finish at our home Grand Prix, proudly flying the Union Flag on both cars!,” he added.

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