Aston Martin have praised Sebastian Vettel's performance following the United States Grand Prix, with the team suggesting that the German has "got his mojo back".
The 2022 F1 season got off to a difficult start for Vettel, who was forced to miss the opening two races after testing positive for COVID-19.
However, both his and Aston Martin's fortunes seem to have improved in the latter stages. Vettel clinched his third consecutive top 10 finish in Austin, as well as claiming the Driver of the Day prize for a second weekend in a row.
This marks Vettel's strongest run of results of the campaign, and Aston Martin's Performance Director, Tom McCullough, has been impressed by the four-time World Champion's driving.
Aston Martin praise 'relaxed' Vettel
McCullough believes that Vettel – who announced in September that he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season – is enjoying himself in his final races.
"He really had it hooked up well [during the United States Grand Prix]," McCullough told the F1 Nation podcast.
"The car's performing, and then you notice, it made the car a little bit more competitive.
"[Both] drivers had great pace at the start of the race, so it was nice to be up there at the front.
"But yeah, overall, he's got his mojo back and he's enjoying himself. He's relaxed. Hopefully he's [like this] to the end of the year."
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How Aston Martin have made steps forward
Alongside Vettel's strong performances, Aston Martin appear to have taken steps forward with the AMR22 as the season has progressed.
The team brought an upgrade package to the Spanish Grand Prix, and McCullough says that they have continued to improve on various elements of this throughout the year.
"Conceptually, the car was very different for Barcelona," McCullough explained.
"Ever since that point, [and] going back to the development path that we had looked at during the winter, we just got our heads down and just pushed on.
"So [that was] the floor mainly, but event after event, [we worked on the] front wing, floor, rear wing, making the car more competitive.
"So that's what we've been doing, chipping away. That's what it's all about."
Aston Martin currently hold seventh place in the Constructors' Championship – one point away from sixth-placed Alfa Romeo – while Vettel sits P11 in the Drivers' standings.
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