Formula 1

“We knew this new package was not going to be a massive step straight away” – Sebastian Vettel

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Sebastian Vettel was one of only a handful of drivers to go for a two-stop strategy during Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, but even with three stops like many of his rivals, he felt the result would not have been much different.

The Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team driver finished just outside the points in eleventh place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after being the last driver to make his first stop on lap twenty-one, and he only made one further stop on lap forty-two.

Vettel felt the team had to try something different to bring himself into contention for points having started outside the top fifteen, but they just did not have enough speed to make it happen.

“Today was all about managing the tyres and the grip – it was very slippery out there,” said Vettel. “Everyone’s tyres were falling to pieces and lots of drivers pitted fairly early, so we tried something different by opting for a two-stopper.

“In the end, I do not think it really made too much of a difference. Ultimately, we just lacked a bit too much pace to really be able to attack the points-scoring positions. But we tried something – P11 is not much of a reward, but we had a decent race.”

Aston Martin raced with a new aero package for the first time in Spain, with many comparisons being made to Oracle Red Bull Racing’s RB18, but Vettel knew it would not be an immediate massive step forward first time out.

“We knew this new package was not going to be a massive step straight away, but we believe it is a better direction for the future,” he said.  “We are making progress and going forwards, and that is what really matters.”

“The car did feel better than it did in qualifying” – Lance Stroll

Team-mate Lance Stroll ended down in fifteenth place in what he felt was a ‘difficult’ race in Spain, although his cause was not helped by a spin at turn one after being hit by Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.

The contact with the Frenchman forced him into the pits to take a look at the AMR22 to ensure it wasn’t too damaged, and the time lost cost him a shot a possibly breaking into the points.

Nevertheless, Stroll was happier that the feeling of the car was significantly better in race trim than it had been in Qualifying, and it gives him hope the team are heading in the right direction with its development plan.

“It was a difficult race, though it was largely ended by the contact with Pierre [Gasly] when I overtook him going through Turn one,” said Stroll.  “We had to pit and check over the car, so that cost us up to 30 seconds.

“The positive is that the car did feel better than it did in qualifying, which is important considering we are running a new package. We need to go away and review the whole weekend, look at what we have learned, and then apply it for Monaco.

“I am very excited for the next race – it is such a special Grand Prix and I cannot wait to get started.”

Lance Stroll survived being hit by Pierre Gasly to finish fifteenth in Spain – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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