Vettel: Aston Martin 'expected to be stronger', but team will grow

Sebastian Vettel says Aston Martin genuinely believed that its 2021 car would perform better than it has this... The post Vettel: Aston Martin 'expected to be stronger', but team will grow appeared first on F1i.com.

Vettel: Aston Martin 'expected to be stronger', but team will grow

Sebastian Vettel says Aston Martin genuinely believed that its 2021 car would perform better than it has this season, but the German insists the Silverstone-based outfit is still "excited" about its prospects.

Vettel's teammate Lance Stroll scored points in the first two rounds of the championship, but Vettel has yet to secure a finish in the top-ten.

Although the four-time world champion has been singled out for his struggles with his new team, Aston's AMR21 is obviously not at the level where the team expected it to be.

"It’s not a secret: we expected to be stronger this year," said Vettel in Barcelona. "Obviously, for reasons we are not.

"So it is what it is, yet I think we can grow as a team. There’s a lot of small things that we are looking at we can improve. And I think the whole group is still very excited. The spirit is great.

"So I’m very happy where I am, despite obviously the performance not being where we all wanted it to be. I think we’ve accepted that, and we try to do the best we can from there."

Last year, Aston Martin's car was among F1's top midfield contenders, with Sergio Perez winning the Sakhir GP. But changes this year to the sport's aero regulations have been detrimental to the car's low-rake design concept.

Just how much Aston can improve its AMR21 remains to be seen, but Vettel doesn't believe his team should write off its 2021 season and channel all its development resources towards its 2022 car.

  • Read also: Aston Martin to field updated AMR21 for Vettel in Barcelona

“I don’t think, not just now, but generally in life, that shortcuts will help you a big deal,” Vettel said.

"There are so many things that we can still learn, and we can still have a better understanding [of] as a team. So I think it would be a wasted opportunity.

"Now, the question is obviously how you measure the opportunity, whether you measure in podiums and points, and wins or in a different currency.

"I think for us, as a team, we can still improve on a lot of small things. But in the end, it's always the small things that make a difference and lead to perfection.

"Even if you know we're not racing in the positions we would love to, I think it's still time well spent."

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Marko still fuming over McLaren radio message at Portimão

One week on, Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko is still enraged over McLaren's radio message to Lando... The post Marko still fuming over McLaren radio message at Portimão appeared first on F1i.com.

Marko still fuming over McLaren radio message at Portimão

One week on, Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko is still enraged over McLaren's radio message to Lando Norris during qualifying for the Portuguese GP.

Norris was warned in Q3 by the McLaren pitwall that Red Bull's Max Verstappen was on a flyer and fast approaching.

The papaya crew subsequently asked its driverr "not to do him any favours", impying that Norris avoid giving the Dutchman a tow down the main straight to boost his chances of pole.

But Marko interpreted the message as an order to impede the Red Bull driver. "Very sporting of the Mercedes team", a sarcastic Marko commented during the live TV broadcast.

Norris laughed off Marko's comments, but a week later, the Austrian is still fuming.

"That [radio message] has to be seen in context," Marko told F1-Insider.com. "Max is on his fastest lap and when such a radio message comes, then it is clear that one is annoyed about it.

"Sebastian [Vettel] was decisively in the way on the last corner, and that didn't help to improve our position either. And if you get angry, you have to be able to say that too."

  • Read also: Norris laughs off Marko 'funny' qualifying grumble

Marko went as far as to suggest that had it been a Mercedes driver on a flyer at Portimão, the message from the McLaren pitwall would have been very different.

"They would have said: 'do Hamilton a favor,'" Marko contended.

The 78-year-old former racer is nevertheless upbeat about Red Bull's chances of success this weekend in Spain, on a track that offers more "normal" characteristics.

"We had three tracks that cannot be described as characteristic," Marko said.

"Bahrain was exceptional because of the temperature, Imola because of the rain and in Portugal because of the track surface, which had very little grip.

"In Barcelona we come to a characteristically normal racetrack with normal temperature for the first time."

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