The reshuffling and potential conflicts within the English sport’s team are so-so cause for optimism
A year has passed since then, and as part of the newly formed Aston Martin, the four-time champion scored only 43 points (against 33 in 2020), and the best achievement was second place in Baku.
The year turned out to be uneven: along with the sport team’s own mistakes and miscalculations, there were incredible aerobatics, brilliant strategy, and the overtaking championship won.
Ups and downs of this sport season
The start of the season for Aston Martin turned out to be discouraging: after the changes in the regulations, the British rolled back to the middle of the peloton. Added to this was the need to adapt the pilot to a new car with completely different characteristics. Therefore, it is not surprising that in the first four races Vettel did not earn a single point, while his partner finished in the top ten twice.
The turning point came at the Monaco Grand Prix. Good qualifying and good strategy in the race led the German to a high fifth place. And two weeks later, Sebastian climbed the podium, beating Ferrari and Alfa Tauri on the track. Another chance fell in chaotic Hungary, but due to problems with the fuel system, Vettel was disqualified, depriving him of second place.
The bad ending of the sport season was brightened up only by the seventh place in Mexico and the title of the best … in overtaking. In the individual standings, the German finished only 12th, 9 points ahead of his partner and 29 points behind his closest competitor, Esteban Okon.
Team prospects this season
Aston Martin has an extensive development program. Last year, Lawrence Stroll announced the construction of a new base using cloud technologies; a new wind tunnel can be built separately. The expansion of production is combined with the involvement of new specialists: the Canadian billionaire, without stinting, began to lure leading engineers from such teams as Mercedes and Red Bull. The lavish spending is part of Stroll’s far-reaching plan to have a revamped Aston Martin fight for the title five years from now.
Despite long-term goals, the businessman is also concerned about current results. After the disastrous 2021 season, the team leader Otmar Zafnaeur, who has worked in it since the days of Force India, left the team. It was he who brought Vettel to the team, which caused rumors about the precarious position of the German himself. However, the new leader – Mike Crack – is familiar with Sebastian from the BMW sports program and has a very high opinion of him.
Will Vettel survive this sports season?
However, even if we assume that the program will be implemented on time, Vettel will have to wait another four years. Is the pilot ready to fight in the middle group all this time? Rumors have been circulating in the formula community for some time now that the decision to continue a career will be made by the world champion based on this season’s results. Indeed, the owner of four titles and 53 victories staying in the shadows does not bring much pleasure. Sebastian Vettel himself stated this to Sky Sports, admitting that the battle at the end of the top ten does not add motivation to him.
Don’t discount Vettel’s age. Having participated in the Race of Champions, the 34-year-old German transparently hinted that he was ready to consider proposals from rally sports teams. Of course, this statement should not be considered the final decision, but it proves that since leaving Ferrari, when Vettel frankly admitted that he could not imagine himself without sport racing, the athlete began to think about the future outside of Formula 1. This is confirmed by the environmental initiatives of the rider last year.
However, Vettel has not yet gone anywhere.
Who knows if changing the technical regulations will help his career in the same way as it happened in 2009.