The Aston Martin team had a strong showing in 2020 under the Racing Point banner, with numerous challenges including championship penalties related to the car’s engineering, and both first choice drivers catching COVID-19 failing to overshadow an otherwise competitive run.
For the coming 2021 season the Silverstone-based outfit is looking to improve once more, and the hire of Sebastian Vettel to replace Sergio Perez was a signal of intent from owner Lawrence Stroll about the scale of the team’s ambitions.
Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said Vettel’s experience and winning mentality would prove valuable as Aston Martin seeks to compete for victories and championships in the sport.
“It is great for us to work with a four-time world champion, Sebastian is an important signing for us," Szafnauer told Formula 1. "He has proven in the past that he can turn a team into a winning team, competing for the world title.
"He brings the winning spirit to our team and we will undoubtedly learn a lot from him during his time with us.”
Szafnauer also reserved praise for Vettel’s teammate next year, Stroll, who he said had improved significantly across the 2020 season.
“He is a hard-working driver and very talented," Szafnauer added. "He really made progress in all areas last year. We know that when we give Lance the right equipment, he will be able to help the team achieve the team's goals.”
The team principal also said that while Vettel will prove an invaluable resource for the Canadian driver, Stroll can also challenge the former world champion out on track.
“We think Sebastian will also get the best out of Lance Stroll, while Lance can certainly make it difficult for his teammate the other way around," Szafnauer stated.
"That's why we are very satisfied with our driver duo. We have an ideal mix of experience: a race winner and a raw talent.”