Following four underwhelming performances with Aston Martin, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has conceded he’s “lacking a bit of pace” in his new car.
Vettel shocked the Formula 1 world last year by leaving Ferrari and signing with Racing Point — now called Aston Martin.
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But the 33-year-old has failed to register a single point in the opening four rounds of the 2021 season, placing 15th, DNF, 13th and 13th.
Aston Martin added a new floor to the German’s AMR21 ahead of last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, but he once again struggled to match the pace of his rivals.
Former team boss Colin Kolles recently claimed Aston Martin staff were demoralised under the leadership of billionaire owner Lawrence Stroll.
To rub salt into the wounds, former Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc sits fifth on the F1 Drivers’ Standings with 40 points after a quartet of promising performances.
Speaking to Motorsport.com after the race, Vettel said he felt “more comfortable” in the modified AMR21, but admitted the car was still not fast enough to compete with the powerhouse teams.
“I’m lacking a bit of pace to fight for points,” Vettel said.
“I think today, with hindsight, maybe here and there we could have done something different, but I need to have a look.
“Overall, it’s probably a fair estimate of where we stand at the moment.
“Everybody is trying to make progress, so it’s difficult to make a lot more progress than the others.
“The AlphaTauris were a lot faster in the race than they were yesterday. Every weekend is a bit different. And if it’s so tight, maybe if you’ll feel a bit more comfortable, maybe the car suits better to the track, you find an extra one or two tenths.”
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Vettel was hindered by Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during the Spanish Grand Prix, the Finnish driver’s single-spot pit strategy held up faster cars in the final stages of the race, including Vettel.
“A couple of tenths and a couple of starting positions can make a difference,” Vettel explained.
“So today, unfortunately, there wasn’t really a gap or a window for us. I need to have a look.
“Obviously we lost a bit of time in the first pit stop, and we were early for the second round. I was stuck behind the Alfa and then burned the tyres. So that was pretty much our race.”
The F1 season continues later this month at the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, May 23.
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