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Formula 1

Aston Martin boss: Vettel is everything we thought he would be

Otmar Szafnauer says new arrival Sebastian Vettel has already made an impact on the team and is excited to see Vettel back on his best form in the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer says Sebastian Vettel has already been pivotal for the team in the little time they have spent together.

Vettel joins the rebranded Aston Martin squad after a disappointing campaign in 2020 and visited the factory in January to meet the team. The four-time world champion has already made an impact.

"It was great. Sebastian is everything we thought he would be, he is a true professional, a four-time world champion and you can see why," said Szafnauer in an interview with RTL. "He works very hard, he asks questions and has a huge amount of knowledge.

"He wants to know even more and more and wants to help the team to improve in all aspects and that’s because he wants to have fun in F1 and fun for him means being competitive and feeling comfortable and racing to the level that he is capable of."

Vettel has traditionally been at his best in a car that has a strong rear end and lots of downforce. It's one of the reasons he was unstoppable with Red Bull between 2010-2013 and why he had great years with Ferrari in 2015 and 2017 as the team opted to go for a high-downforce package. Szafnauer says the team will do everything to ensure they have a car that suits Vettel's style.

"Funnily enough, almost every driver we had in our car likes a car with a stable rear," continued Szafnauer. "We always pushed to work on that stability, to have a car with good balance. We will do our utmost to make sure he has that!"

"Seb has already driven the simulator and has given us some feedback [for the new car]. But most our work in the winter was done without his input."

Aston Martin are targeting third place in the constructors' championship after they narrowly lost out to McLaren at the 2020 season-finale in Abu Dhabi. But Szafnauer believes Vettel has a good opportunity to battle for the top five in the drivers' standings.

""I think Sebastian has got a very great chance to do that. First he has got to beat Lance [Stroll], who is a very fast driver, hugely talented. I think the two of them will work very well together."

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