F1 legend Sebastian Vettel desperate to ‘get the ball rolling’ points-wise in Belgium
F1: Vettel insists he can win races at Aston Martin
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Aston Martin F1 star Sebastian Vettel is keen to get off to a good start after the mid-season break by “getting the ball rolling” in the team’s quest to catch up to rivals in the standings. Team principal Otmar Szafnauer has identified fifth place as a realistic target for the remainder of the 2021 campaign.
Aston currently sits seventh in the standings after 11 races with 48 points, 29 behind Alpine who currently sit in that fifth spot.
AplhaTauri are also ahead of them at the mid-season point, thanks largely to some strong showings from Pierre Gasly who has more points than Vettel and teammate Lance Stroll put together.
Four-time world champion Vettel believes a good result at the Belgian Grand Prix can be a springboard for the team to push on and make a success of the current campaign.
In his race preview, the German said: “It is a very busy end to the season with several triple-headers, so momentum is going to be key to the midfield fight.
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“We want to be scoring good points in Spa-Francorchamps to really get the ball rolling and to put pressure on the teams ahead.
“I think every driver on the grid enjoys racing at Spa and it is definitely one of my favourite places to drive a Formula One car because of the layout and the special combination of corners.
“I have great memories of Spa, having won here in 2011, 2013 and 2018, so I can’t wait to get back on track.”
Vettel would be 18 points better off in the standings has his second-placed finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix not been chalked off by race officials.
He was disqualified after the FIA could not extract the one-litre fuel required at the end of the race.
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Aston Martin produced new evidence showing why there was less fuel in his tank than anticipated, but the team’s right to review was rejected and Szafnauer ultimately decided to withdraw the appeal.
To make matters worse, Esteban Ocon’s surprise win in Budapest, combined with a fourth-placed finish from teammate Fernando Alonso, meant Alpine scored 37 points in the final race before the mid-season break, propelling them into fifth.
While Vettel will be chasing a good result for himself, Stroll has picked up points in each of his last two races at Spa, and is hopeful of another good result in his mother’s homeland.
He said: “It has been nice to have a break and come back with maximum focus and determination for the second half of the year.
“Spa is always a home race of sorts for me because of my Belgian heritage. It is one of my favourite Grands Prix of the year, anything can happen in Spa.”
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