Lost running won’t hide ‘very promising’ Aston potential - Vettel

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Lost running won’t hide ‘very promising’ Aston potential - Vettel

Formula 1

Lost running won’t hide ‘very promising’ Aston potential - Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel says the new Aston Martin has already shown good potential despite a gearbox issue all but wiping out his running on the second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

After a solid morning of running on the opening day, Vettel completed just six laps on Saturday before Aston Martin noticed a problem related to the gearbox that required a change. In similar fashion to Mercedes, the work took some three hours and meant Vettel ended with a total of eight proper laps – and two under Safety Car conditions at the end of the session – but the German is still excited by what he has learned so far at his new team.

“Well the last 24 hours have certainly been very busy for myself, for everyone in the garage, for the whole team.” Vettel said. “Unfortunately we didn’t have a very productive morning, we had an issue with the gearbox we had to change and that cost a bit of time. That’s what happened and unfortunately we didn’t get a lot of laps in. So this morning was not of great use in terms of track time.

“Yesterday though was very interesting. The car feels very promising but there’s still a lot of things I need to get used to. The car is different to what I ran and it’s a different power unit as well so everything feels a bit different and takes a little bit of getting used to.”

Vettel admits the lack of track time is particularly painful for him given the fact he has switched teams for this season, but the four-time world champion says it isn’t stopping him from learning anything particularly significant but rather multiple smaller things.

“It’s a different car, it’s obviously a different way of running the car so naturally you would expect it to feel different as well,” Vettel said. “I haven’t had that much time yet but I need a little bit of time to adapt to all the little things. It’s never one thing that you need to get on top of, it’s a lot of small things that ultimately make the difference. That’s where I stand. I obviously wanted to have more laps this morning. I think we all wanted more laps! It is what it is. Hopefully we have a good afternoon now and a good day and a strong day to make up some lost ground.

“Obviously there’s lots of stuff they want to cover on these days other than just make the driver happy or just give the driver enough time on track, there’s also a lot of answers, a lot of measurements, you can imagine.

“It’s certainly a very busy period, but I’m enjoying it – there’s lots of new things for me, lots of new inputs and different ways of doing things. Some more advanced, some a little bit more behind, but that’s normal when you change teams.”

One thing that Vettel’s early running has afforded him is a first taste of a Mercedes power unit in his career, but he declined to compare it to the Ferrari or Renault he has run in the past.

“It’s obviously different, but I’m not going to compare, just out of respect to different manufacturers. It’s something that I’ve never done in the past and I won’t do now.”

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