Otmar Szafnauer, the F1 team principal of Aston Martin, tried looking for a silver lining in what could be best described as a dreadful weekend for the team's German driver Sebastian Vettel.
Four-time F1 world champion Vettel, who swapped Ferrari for Aston Martin this year, had a horrendous start to his 2021 campaign. Over the course of the weekend, the German driver accumulated a total of five penalty points and in the end, finished second last of the remaining runners with only Mick Schumacher behind him. His team boss, however, looks at the positives.
"It wasn't the best race but if you look at the positives he had to start last he was running in the top 10 for a while and felt good in the car," Szafnauer told RacingNews365.com among others.
"Watching it from the pit wall his lap times were not that dissimilar to Lance who's been driving here for a while and and knows the car well, and ended up finishing in a relatively decent position."
Szafnauer also elaborated on all the systems Vettel had to get used to given that the German driver had the fewest amount of laps completed in testing.
"From car characteristics, powertrain characteristics he's getting to grips to know it and make setup changes that suit him," Szafnauer continued.
"It's really early days, he's didn't do a lot of laps in winter testing, we only had three days and he seemed to have all the problems. I'm still confident we'll get set there."
Based on current evidence it seems as though Ferrari made the right call when they hired Carlos Sainz. Vettel's incident with Esteban Ocon was the latest in a series of rookie error that has come to define the German's F1 career over the past few seasons.