The number of on-track incidents for Sebastian Vettel during the Australian Grand Prix weekend highlight how difficult to drive the Aston Martin is, according to team principal Mike Krack.
Missing two races after testing positive for COVID-19, Vettel returned to make his first race start of the season in Melbourne. The German had driven during pre-season testing but in Australia he crashed in FP3 and during the race itself, adding to a number of incidents for teammate Lance Stroll in a nightmare weekend for Aston Martin.
“I think we really take something away from it,” Krack said. “I am happy that Seb is fine, first of all, after all these incidents. I think if someone like him — a four-time champion — has these issues that he was having this weekend, this is not down to not driving, because he has driven the car.
“This is really something we need to look at what car we provide him, what feedback he gets from the car. Because he will agree with me that him being off so much as he has been this weekend is not normal and I don’t think it’s related to having missed two races.
“He has been a multiple winner in Melbourne — he knows where he is here. I think it would be really easy to say, ‘Oh he was not there for two weekends’ (but) a driver of that class, we need to really check what tool we are giving him.”
Krack admits there is an aerodynamic weakness that is proving troublesome for Aston Martin, even though he feels like the team is improving in terms of the weight of its car.
“In Formula 1, if you’re not performing, it’s normally quite easy to identify the reasons why teams are performing and others are not, aligning with aerodynamics and car weight at the moment. While we’ve made progress on the weight side, we’ve struggled on the aerodynamics. This is something we need to really focus on.
“I don’t want to go into the complete details but the reasons for the performance are normally in that area and for us, it’s the same. Everything becomes much more difficult — the better aero you have, the easier everything gets. The drivers are happy, the results are a bit better so everything gets easier and if not, you put everything in doubt.”