Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel “has not lost his talent” and remains one of Formula 1’s top drivers, according to ex-F1 racer Marc Surer.
Vettel had a difficult start to life as an Aston Martin driver, but his form has improved in recent races and he scored the newly rebranded team’s first-ever podium at Baku last month.
Asked if Vettel is still one of the best drivers in Formula 1, Surer replied: “That stands out pretty blatantly.
“I noticed that he is good on some tracks, but not on others. […] His last victory with the Ferrari was in Singapore. A street circuit.
“Now he’s gone fast again on two street circuits [Monaco and Baku]. City circuits obviously suit him. He does well there.
“On perfectly normal tracks, he’s missing a bit. I notice this fluctuation. I haven’t been able to observe that with him in the past.
“You throw the car into the corners [on street circuits], have less to do with aerodynamics and more to do with mechanical grip.
“When it comes to the fast tracks, aerodynamics is the decisive factor in how fast a car goes through the corners. That could be where the difference comes from,” he added.
Surer went on to suggest that at the circuits which Vettel has struggled at this season, it is most likely down to his Aston Martin’s AMR21 not being well suited to the track’s layout.
“When Vettel is driving around at the back, Stroll is usually not far away either,” Surer added.
“From that point of view, it’s not just down to Vettel’s driving style, I think it’s mainly down to the car.
“He can still drive fast if he gets the chance and has the material. But obviously it’s insanely difficult for Aston Martin to get the car into the right window with the tyres.
“Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they are completely off. Such fluctuations are otherwise inexplicable,” the ex-F1 driver concluded.