2022 is the true test of Aston - Vettel

Image courtesy of Aston Martin Racing

2022 is the true test of Aston - Vettel

Formula 1

2022 is the true test of Aston - Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel believes Aston Martin has to show its true potential in 2022 as it enters a new era of Formula 1 after significant investment.

The four-time world champion joined Aston Martin last season but the team struggled following a change to floor regulations that hurt its previous car concept. 2022 offers a fresh start with radically different rules, and with the team unveiling the AMR22 on Thursday, Vettel admits the team can be fairly judged on the results it delivers during this season.

“I think at this stage everybody’s hoping to be at the top,” Vettel said. “If you look at the podium it will still look the same this year so there’s only space for one, but we hope we are in much better shape than last year. We have the ability this year to develop the car — we didn’t do that last year for probably more than three quarters of the season — so it will be very different. Last year we knew from the start that it was going to be a long and difficult season, so we hope for a better one.

“The truth is the team is growing — obviously having a shuffle in management is always a bit of a hiccup or shake-up and will take time to overcome, but hopefully we manage to pull together and despite growing in size, become leaner or more efficient in our processes.

“I think this year will be a true test for us and we’ll see how good we are, because last year we couldn’t show anything. We didn’t focus on bringing any updates, whereas this year it’s all about this set of regulations, this generation of cars and we will be able to show what we can produce and we should be measured based on that.”

The management changes Vettel references see Mike Krack replace Otmar Szafnauer as team principal, in a switch that the German is confident will not weaken the team.

“I have always liked Otmar and got along with Otmar — I think it’s difficult not to get along with him. He had a very central role in the team, a lot of the guys knew him because he had been there so long, and for sure it’s a big reshuffle.

“But looking forward, I think Mike is great and I’m very much looking forward to working with him again. He’s highly rated by everyone who shared the way with him, so ‘let’s see’ is the honest answer because it’s been some years, but I think he’s a great guy and has a great spirit, so hopefully it’s a strong addition to the team.”

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