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Vettel claims 'victory' as Aston Martin score their first points

Sebastian Vettel was in high spirits after he got his and Aston Martin's season off the mark with an encouraging eighth-place finish at Imola.

Sebastian Vettel described his points finish in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as "a victory" for Aston Martin, following their torrid start to the campaign. Aston Martin were the only team without a point to their name after the first three races, having endured a particularly tough Australian Grand Prix, where Vettel returned from his Covid-related absence. On a weekend of mixed conditions at Imola, Vettel and Aston Martin capitalised to make it into Q3 in qualifying, which prompted the first smiles new team boss Mike Krack has seen since he arrived at the outfit.

Vettel and Aston Martin score their first points

After dropping back to 13th in the dry Sprint race, Vettel again made the most of changeable conditions during the Grand Prix itself. An early switch to slick tyres inspired Vettel's charge, which he ended with a ninth-place finish and two valuable points. "For us, it's like a victory!" Vettel declared to media, including RacingNews365.com . "We have to be honest, we are not the fastest at the minute. I think we are pretty much at the other side of the field. "But today, we did really well. The weekend helped us with the conditions, but we managed to capitalise. "I think we did a great job on calling for the dry [tyres] and everybody else then, I think, copied what we did. I was happy to go even a lap or two before, so it was really good."

Vettel's unexpected fight with a Ferrari

Vettel found himself sharing the same piece of track as Charles Leclerc in the closing stages, after the Ferrari driver spun off and pitted for repairs. While their battle was short-lived, as Leclerc recovered to sixth position in his much-quicker F1-75, Vettel enjoyed the overall experience. "Obviously, [I had] no chance to hold Charles off in the end, [as] he was like four seconds faster, or three seconds faster, but we did well," added Vettel. "If you tell us that we are fighting a Ferrari with four laps to go, before the race, I would have taken it. "It's still eighth position, so it's not as enjoyable as winning. But to be honest, I've driven a lot of races where I finished on the podium, and I've done a worse race, so I'm very happy today." Lance Stroll backed up Vettel in the sister Aston Martin to add another point to the team's tally in 10th.

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