Aston Martin boss Mike Krack has explained why Sebastian Vettel has had a boost to his motivation during his final races in F1.
The German announced in September that he will retire from the sport at the end of 2022, but since then appears to have been in his strongest form of the season.
Vettel achieved three consecutive points finishes at the Singapore, Japan and United States Grands Prix. He also claimed the Driver of the Day prize on two out of three of those weekends.
While he finished outside of the top 10 in Mexico, Vettel still ended the race ahead of teammate Lance Stroll on what was a tough weekend for Aston Martin.
Krack: Better results adding to Vettel's motivation
With this improvement in performance for the British team, Krack believes that the stronger results have given Vettel an added impetus.
When asked if the four-time World Champion is currently in his best form of the season, Krack told media, including RacingNews365.com: "Probably, yes.
"I think he gained from the better performance or the better results. It added a little bit even more to his motivation, and it's really nice to see him work.
"We had to kick him out of the office yesterday night [over the Mexican Grand Prix weekend], otherwise he would have still been there, studying data, looking at where you can change things.
"So he's not on a farewell, this I can tell you for sure. He really wants to do well.
"He wants to bring us forward and bring his part to finish the season in the best possible place."
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Aston Martin expect tough battle in Constructors' Championship
Vettel's final two races in Formula 1 could be crucial in deciding Aston Martin's position in the 2022 Constructors' Championship.
The team have been locked in a battle with Alfa Romeo for P6, with their rivals currently holding the position by just four points.
Despite Vettel and the squad's recent solid performances, Krack admits that the fight could still be a challenging one.
"I think it's not a home run at all," the team boss explained.
"Just going by statistics, it would be easy, but Alfa Romeo is a team that we highly respect. You have seen at the beginning of the season what they were capable of doing.
"And I think, although the difference in points is small, I think it will be very hard to pass them.
"Fred [Vasseur, Team Principal at Alfa Romeo] said they had upgrades again, and I think it will be a fight until the last lap in Abu Dhabi."
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So how did the team do this, and what changes have been made to F1's pit-stop procedure in the last couple of years?