Aston Martin F1 team boss Otmar Szafnauer says Sebastian Vettel is fully motivated ahead of the start of the new Formula 1 season and is already pushing the team forward with his ideas and questions thanks to his experience with winning teams.
Vettel started his F1 career at BMW in 2007 when he replaced Kubica at the US Grand Prix and won one point for eighth place and had his first full season in 2008 at Toro Rosso when he won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The German then spent six years at Red Bull, winning four championship titles, and six years at Ferrari where he won two runner-up titles while his move to Aston Martin represents a return to a smaller team like Toro Rosso.
Szafnauer is confident that Vettel with his experience and knowledge can help Aston Martin improve after last year’s great season which they finished in fourth place under the name Racing Point with the third fastest car.
“I think he can bring experience and working methods from his championship days,” Szafnauer said.
“He has already suggested to our racing engineers what data he needs to help with car settings. He has already helped us improve cockpit ergonomics. For example, where the switches should be and how to make the car easier to handle.”
“He’s already drove in a simulator and compared it to those he knows. What’s good about ours, where do we have to improve?”
“Seb has only been with us for a few days, but he has already managed to give useful feedback. He hasn’t even driven our car yet, so we can still learn a lot from him and improve.”
“Let’s not forget that Sebastian worked with Toro Rosso as well, it’s a similar team size as ours. And Sebastian has a great memory. Our racing philosophies are 100% the same and we’ll work well together to optimize our performance.”
Szafnauer pointed out that Vettel’s motivation is strong and is pushing the team forward.
“It’s already pushing us forward, constantly asking us questions,” he said.
“Why are we doing this like this and not differently? In just two days he had so many questions. He not only asks questions but also shares his experiences. That’s exactly what we need.”
“I don’t see a lack of motivation or a lack of self-confidence.”