Sebastian Vettel says scoring Aston Martin’s first points of the season in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix were “like a victory” for the team, given its competitive level.
Aston Martin has endured a tough start to 2022 and was the only team yet to score heading into the fourth round at Imola, leaving it at the bottom of the constructors’ championship. Wet conditions on Friday allowed Vettel to reach Q3 and although he didn’t score in the Sprint, he duly started 11th in the main race and converted that to eighth on Sunday, with teammate Lance Stroll coming home 10th.
“For us, it’s like a victory,” Vettel said. “We have to be honest, we are not the fastest at the minute. I think we are pretty much at the other side of the field. But we did really well; the weekend helped us with the conditions but we managed to capitalize.
“I think we did a great job on calling for the dries and everybody else then I think copied what we did. So I was happy to go even a lap before or two. So yeah, it was really good. Obviously, no chance to hold Charles (Leclerc) off — in the end he’s like four seconds faster. But if you told us that we are fighting a Ferrari with four laps to go before the race, I would have would have taken it.
“I mean, it’s still eighth position, so it’s not as enjoyable as winning. But, you know, I’ve driven a lot of races where I finished on the podium and I’ve done a worse race. So I’m very happy.”
Vettel says he’s starting to understand just how challenging F1 can be for teams at the back of the field, given the amount of effort that goes into developing a car.
“It’s harsh — you work your ass off and when you have a good package it’s easy to score good results, and then it’s about perfection to deliver the perfect result. But the work that goes into the back of the field — which, to be honest, for many years I did not appreciate as much because I wasn’t there — it’s the same work that goes in from all the people in the team, and it’s even harder because you don’t get any cookie or reward after the race.
“To try and make your dog jump without a cookie to please him afterwards, it’s hard. So it’s good for them. I’m happy for the team and good to get both cars in the points.”