Sebastian Vettel appeared enthused after his first free practice sessions with Aston Martin ahead of the 2021 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
The four-time Formula 1 world champion hardly set the time sheet alight, finishing FP1 and FP2 12th and 14th respectively, but seems to be slowly acclimatising to his new environment.
Aston Martin struggled in pre-season testing, with only Mercedes completing fewer laps, and Vettel in particular saw his running impacted.
However, he did not face any issues on Friday and said afterwards that the more laps he completed, the more comfortable he would feel.
“It’s very busy with less time in the practice sessions, but we were able to get a lot out of it,” Vettel said. “Every lap helps me get more used to the car and I’m able to find more of a rhythm.
“I’m still trying a lot of things and learning as I go, so I’m looking forward to going over the data and coming back tomorrow with the insights we have gained. The car was really promising in some corners and less so in others, but that’s normal at this stage of the season. We will work tonight to find a more consistent balance. As you can see, the midfield is very tight and everyone is learning quickly, but I hope we will be a factor.”
The German’s teammate Lance Stroll was one spot behind Vettel in FP1, but came back strong in the afternoon to finish with the eighth fastest time of the day.
“It was great to be back in the car today and I’m excited to get racing again,” the three-time podium sitter added.
“Today was the first real indication of everyone’s performance and you can see that the middle of the grid is very close and competitive. It was a little tricky on track with the high winds – a bit like it was in testing at times. Today’s practice sessions also reminded me just how important it is to get the little details right, so we will work hard tonight and go over all the data to find improvements where we can.”