After a series of what we can call ‘bad luck events’, Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has decided to take the matter into his own hands to see what was ‘so off’ about Sebastian Vettel at the Australian Grand Prix.
Vettel missed the first two events of the year because of contracting COVID-19. However, one could probably call his weekend at Melbourne the worst weekend of Vettel’s 16-year-old F1 career. During FP1, his Aston Martin F1 car suffered a power unit problem that forced him to park by the side of the track.
What followed after the event was a €5,000 spectacle of Vettel entering the racetrack on a Marshal’s scooter to reach the pits. The Aston team spent the entire duration of FP2 replacing the AMR22’s power unit, only to witness Vettel crash into a barrier that severely damaged the front wing.
Thanks to a red flag event caused by an incident between Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and team-mate Lance Stroll, Vettel was back on the track for the last few minutes which fetched him an 18th spot on the grid. Yet, the ‘omen’ continued to follow. Vettel lost control of his car and crashed again during the race, resulting in a DNF.
He later stated that his lack of time with the car was partly to blame for the series of events. However, Krack does not agree with Vettel. He thinks there’s more to the story than just lack of time.
“First of all, I’m happy Seb is fine after all these incidents,” he said.
“But if someone like him, a four-time world champion is having these issues he was having over the weekend, this is not down to not driving because he has driven the car.”
“This is really something that we need to really look at, at what car we provide him, what feedback he gets from the car.
Because he would agree with me that him being off so much as he was at the weekend is not normal, and I do not think it is related to him having missed two races.”
Hinting that Vettel was a three-time winner in Melbourne and the latest win being in 2018 with Ferrari, he said: “He knows where he is.”
“He has had some tests with the car, so it would be easy to say ‘Ah, he was not there for two weekends’.
“A driver of that class, we really need to check what tools we are giving him.”
We could expect the AMR boss and Vettel to have a lengthy meeting on this.
Would things look better for the AMR team at the Pirelli Italian Grand Prix on April 24? Only time will tell.