Sebastian Vettel feels that his overtakes award success in 2021 is a sign that his Aston Martin team lack pace and find themselves recovering through the field “too often”.
Although Vettel thoroughly enjoyed the side-by-side battling, he is disappointed he found himself in that position as often as he did.
“We backfired too often. We made up positions [in the races] and that was entertaining, but not so fun in terms of results,” the German said after winning Formula 1’s inaugural overtaking award.
Vettel ultimately finished just outside the points in 11th in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, seeing him finish 12th in the Drivers’ Standings.
Reviewing the race from his perspective, Vettel said: “I think we had some decent pace, but we were unfortunately stuck behind the Alfa Romeo of [Antonio] Giovinazzi for too long and that cost us too much time.
“When we were in clear air, the pace was good, but there was only so much we could do.”
Speaking about the strange Safety Car restart in the dying stages of the race, Vettel said: “The Safety Car situation at the end may have been unprecedented and we were just unable to end the season with points and finished P11.”
The Aston Martin Driver was one of the lapped cars that was not allowed through, meaning that he would not have been able to finish any higher than eighth.
He joked on the radio after the race that the award should earn him “one million jelly beans!”
The aforementioned Safety Car allowed Max Verstappen to claim his first world title and become Red Bull’s first champion since Vettel himself.
Although Vettel was not entirely aware of what was happening at the front, Vettel believes Verstappen is a worthy F1 champion.
“Both deserved it, after the season and after the race,” he said.
Vettel won four F1 championships with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, and he will enter his 16th full season in Formula 1 next year.