How Vettel reacted to Aston Martin’s remarkable upturn in form

Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack has revealed he received a congratulatory message from former driver Sebastian Vettel following their podium finish at the season-opening F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Vettel - who drove for the team in 2021 and 2022 - called time on his F1 career at the end of last year, paving way for Fernando Alonso’s arrival.

It was untimely for the German given Aston Martin’s remarkable progress over the winter.

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Aston Martin have scored back-to-back podium finishes in the opening two rounds of F1 2023.

Speaking on the F1 Nation Podcast, Krack said: “We have been in touch. We were in touch for the New Year, obviously. But then also Sebastian was Sebastian-like, congratulating us, very gentleman-like, after our first podium in Bahrain,” Krack commented.

“I always said to him this is also your merit, because he brought us really one step up over the previous two years. He brought us up in a lot of areas, where we have learned a lot and progressed a lot.

“He has certainly [played] his part in where we are now. But he’s comfortable with that; he was not in any kind of regretting [frame of mind] or whatever, because he was very conscious about his decision when he made it.

“I think the respect between himself and the team, or the respect between himself and myself, [was] really shown by this great moment of congratulating us. That was really, really appreciated and also I relayed it to the whole team.”

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With Lance Stroll struggling with this fitness ahead of the season following a cycling accident, Krack admitted that they were “tempted” to ask Vettel to make a shock return.

“Tempted? Yes, 100%,” he added. “But we didn’t do it, because we have such a high respect for Sebastian and his decision that he made at the time.

“I think it would not have been correct even to ask. We wanted to respect the way he was, and we didn’t want to put him in any difficult position.”

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