4-time F1 world champion Vettel joined the rebranded Aston Martin group for this season following his exit from Ferrari, linking up with Lance Stroll.
Whereas Aston Martin slipped again to seventh within the constructors’ championship after being damage by the downforce cuts below the tweaked laws for 2021, Vettel was in a position to rating the group’s finest results of the season, ending second in Azerbaijan.
Vettel got here near victory in Hungary, the place he completed second earlier than later being disqualified as a result of a technical infringement. The group introduced in September that Vettel can be staying on for 2022 alongside Stroll.
Requested about Vettel’s integration on the group this yr, Aston Martin boss Szafnauer mentioned: “He’s been sensible.
“He’s such a person of integrity, he works exhausting, nice work ethic, leaves no stone unturned.
“The engineers like working with him, the mechanics love him as an individual. He’s only a real man. And that goes a great distance in life.”
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, within the pit lane
Photograph by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
Vettel has gained widespread reward for his off-track efforts all through this yr, elevating consciousness for necessary environmental points, in addition to highlighting social matters such as speaking up for LGBT+ rights in Hungary.
Regardless of having identified Vettel for over a decade, Szafnauer discovered it attention-grabbing to see so most of the traits he had heard about by way of knowledgeable relationship, and was not stunned by his work ethic by way of the yr.
“Everybody else that has labored carefully with him talked about him in the identical manner that I’m speaking about him now,” Szafnauer mentioned.
“And socially, I may see these traits as nicely. So was I stunned, no, however I used to be delighted to have what I assumed he was confirmed by his actions.”
Szafnauer acknowledged that it took Vettel a couple of races to get to know the group and stand up to hurry, however felt he had “performed a very good job”.
“His biggest high quality as a racing driver is simply relentlessly working at getting faster and faster and faster,” Szafnauer mentioned.
“He even does that within the race. So when he begins a race, he’ll take a look at different drivers and features they’ve taken within the race, to see if he can be taught even inside a race to have the ability to go faster or save the tyres extra, or no matter you must do. That to me is his greatest asset.”
Szafnauer picked out Hungary as being Vettel’s strongest race of the season, the place he put Esteban Ocon below race-long stress within the struggle for the win earlier than ending second and later being disqualified.
“Though the consequence didn’t depend, by way of no fault of his personal, I assumed he drove an excellent race in Budapest, and tried and drained and tried to overhaul Ocon,” Szafnauer mentioned.
“He needed the win badly. It’s simply so troublesome to overhaul in Budapest, except you may have an enormous, huge automobile tempo benefit, which we didn’t have.
“Had it been a little bit bit totally different, a bit faster pit cease, had we simply gotten out of the pits forward of Ocon, I believe he would have left him [behind].”