Sebastian Vettel says Aston Martin’s lack of mileage in pre-season testing would have likely put him in panic mode 10 years ago, but age and experience have taught the German to remain “calm”.
A collection of issues suffered by Aston Martin in Bahrain – including a gearbox failure on day two – undermined the team’s testing program, leaving the outfit, and Vettel in particular, well short on mileage.
Vettel’s tally for the three-day test was 117 laps, or a little over a third of his team’s total mileage of 314 laps, the second lowest lap count behind Mercedes. In contrast, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was F1’s marathon man at Sakhir with 237 laps.
Preparations in Bahrain were key for Vettel following the four-time world champion’s move to a new team using a car and engine package that required a necessary period of adjustment and familiarization.
While frustrated by his mileage shortfall, Vettel vowed to keep his cool.
“I’m not too preoccupied,” he said. “Maybe it’s the age, maybe it’s the experience, but probably 10 years ago I would finally panic now. But then again, if I were to panic now would it help? Probably not.
“We are just trying to do our things and use the time now that we have. We still got some running, And for me it was super, super useful the laps [on the final day]. So, it could be worse. It could be better, but it could be worse.
“So I think it’s about remaining calm, doing one thing at a time and moving forward when it’s time to.”
Read also: Aston Martin not fazed by problems and early finish
Vettel reckons that this year’s limited three-day test likely left most teams at a deficit in terms of data and knowledge.
“Even I think the people that had no trouble at all and did lots of laps, I don’t think you can acquire all the information about the new cars, the new tyres, and the changes over the winter in just one and a half days in the car,” he added.
“Let’s be honest: it’s quite difficult to practice, we need to be in the car and we need to run. You can do simulator all winter long but it’s not the same.
“So if anybody steps out of the car after one and a half days and is up to the speed that he was after 17 races in 20 weeks as we had last year, I think that’s not possible.
“It will naturally take a little bit of time to get up to speed. But for sure there’s some people who need more time, some who need less.”
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