Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin debut was disastrous, with him finishing down in P15 and picking up five penalty points in a single day.
There were many factors at play, including the four-time World Champion’s very limited running in pre-season testing and him getting unlucky with yellow flags in Q1.
The coming races should provide a better indication of how Vettel is settling in at his new team, but ex-F1 driver David Coulthard has warned that the German could be dropped by Aston Martin mid-season if Lance Stroll comprehensively outperforms him.
He also suggested that Vettel was signed by Aston Martin to make Stroll look good, off the back of him getting outperformed by Sergio Perez at Racing Point.
“I just don’t see how he’s going to rediscover that mojo,” Coulthard said.
“I think he’s an asset for the team in terms of experience, a safe pair of hands in terms of bringing the car home, but I think once you lose that little bit of speed.
“I do wonder if it’s a part of brand building, not only for Aston Martin but also for Lance Stroll, because if he can beat a four-time World Champion that will become a justification for why he’s a Champion in waiting.
“If he does to Seb what Charles [Leclerc] did to Seb, then I just don’t see how he [Vettel] can finish the season,” he concluded.