While Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen continue their early-season title duel on Sunday at the Spanish Grand Prix, former world champion Sebastian Vettel finally wants a decent result.
Vettel has finished 15th, 15th and 13th in the first three races with Aston Martin in a move from Ferrari, results that don’t really please the man who has won four world titles and 53 grands prix, DPA reports.
“We just didn’t have enough pace to score points,” Vettel said after Sunday’s race in Portugal.
Not even a first berth in the final round of qualifying in 16 races helped the German who lost three places in Portimao from 10th on the grid.
Now comes the Circuit de Catalunya where teams tested in the past and which is normally a good indicator in which direction a team is heading.
The good news for Vettel is that he will have upgrades for the fourth of 23 season races, that team-mate Lance Stroll already used in Portugal, only to finish 14th.
Vettel has named this “a step in the right direction” although he cautiously wondered how big this step would be compared to other teams.
“But the real priority is to have a clean Saturday, which is the key to a better Sunday,” he added.
Vettel has only won once in Spain, and team principal Otmar Szafnauer has also admitted that “we are disappointed”.
The team, then as Racing Point, was fourth in the constructors’ standings at this stage last year. Now they are seventh with a meagre five championship points, all from Stroll, the son of Canadian team co-owner Lawrence Stroll.
“I think we understand the car better and better but we are lacking a bit of speed, so we need to work on that,” Vettel said.
Vettel hopes that he can perhaps emulate ex-champ Fernando Alonso who also had trouble at first in his return to F1 at the Alpine team but has now scored points in the last two races.
“That shows it is not impossible to make a step,” Vettel said.
“I hope we can learn and be in a better position,” he added, with Stroll also hoping for improvement.
“We will learn what we can and make improvements ahead of next weekend. We will arrive in Barcelona in a stronger position,” Stroll said.