Sebastian Vettel’s pre-season preparations with the Aston Martin F1 Team were disrupted on day two of testing at Bahrain, with a gearbox issue hampering his running.
Due to the issue, Vettel completed just eight laps in the AMR21 on Saturday – the least of any driver – and the lack of running this morning also left him well off the pace.
Speaking after the frustrating session, Vettel admitted that he “did not have a very productive morning” but the four-time World Champion seemed confident that this disruption won’t affect his upcoming season.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have a very productive morning, we had an issue with the gearbox and had to change it and that cost quite a bit of time but that’s what happened and unfortunately we didn’t get a lot of laps in,” Vettel said after the morning session of day two of pre-season testing.
“So this morning was not of great use in terms of track time. Normally it doesn’t matter. Hopefully, we have a good afternoon now and a good day tomorrow to get some more information.
“We would have liked to have more data and more track time, but it is what it is, and we take it from here. It’s a long year and a long season and I’m sure it will be alright,” he added.
Meanwhile, Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer said he believes the issue will have an “impact on Seb” as it means he will have reduced running time ahead of the season-opener later this month.
“We lost a significant amount of running time, so now that we’ve fixed the problem I’m sure [while] I’m here the engineers are rescheduling the run plans in order to get the most important work done, such that we understand the car going forward. That’s first and foremost,” Szafnauer said.
“Secondly, it will have an impact on Seb because he’ll have less time in the car before the first race and what he really needs now is seat time in the car because, you know, we’re a different team, it’s a different car and different powertrain than he’s been used to.
“We’ll do the best we can with the time we have remaining,” the Aston Martin boss added.
Friday was a much more productive day for Vettel, with him getting 51 laps under his belt in the Aston Martin AMR21.