S.A new company car was in the garage most of the time, Sebastian Vettel only covered 50 kilometers on the second day of Formula 1 testing. “Unfortunately, that was not a productive morning,” stated Vettel afterwards. As on the day before, when he was still able to do 51 laps on the Bahrain International Circuit after a defect, he handed the Aston Martin over to his Canadian team-mate Lance Stroll on Saturday, who, like Formula 1 newcomer Mick Schumacher, accelerated in the afternoon could.
For the son of record world champion Michael Schumacher, things went better after the breakdown on Friday. After his 15 laps the day before, the 21-year-old had 87 laps and was twelfth in the Haas. There was nothing he could do for a mishap in the pit lane when the traffic light turned green when changing tires, he drove off, but the jack wasn’t gone yet. Nobody was injured.
The lap times are to be enjoyed with caution. And not only because superstar Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes was surprisingly far behind after a ride into the gravel and team mate Valtteri Bottas again set the fastest lap of the day. At least a little more clarity about the balance of power should prevail after the end of the tests on Sunday. However, it has already become clear that the industry leader Mercedes is still struggling with problems. But there is hardly a team in Bahrain that is immune to minor or major malaises.
“It will have an impact on Seb”
Like Aston Martin. “Unfortunately we had the problem with the transmission,” emphasized team boss Otmar Szafnauer. Vettel had completed six laps when he had to go back into the garage. The repairs took a while. Minutes before the end of the break, Vettel returned to the track in the dark green racing car. But even then it didn’t work out as hoped: Vettel braked on a fast lap and had to leave the ideal line.
In addition, the red lamps shone, Vettel had to stop the attempt. Vettel had a total of nine laps after four hours. “As it stands now, I would have liked to have had more time on the track and more data. But that’s the way it is, ”said the 33-year-old four-time world champion. “It will have an impact on Seb”, feared Szafnauer already.
Already on Friday at the start, Vettel had emphasized that a lot was simply new for him. He had been retired by Ferrari after six years and switched to Aston Martin. The car from the former Racing Point team is powered by a Mercedes engine. The rest of the test program will now be adapted a bit, said Szafnauer. It is planned that Vettel should drive in the afternoon on the final day and start Stroll. After all, the new season starts with a record number of 23 races in two weeks in Bahrain.
The more time you have to get used to, the better it is, stressed Vettel. His first impressions of the car are positive. The AMR21 feels “very promising”, was its interim assessment after the impressions in the Sakhir desert. And it is also normal “that you need more than a day and a half to find your rhythm”. But Vettel has no concerns that there is not enough time to get used to the car.
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