Aston Martin Formula 1 team boss Otmar Szafnauer says that new signing Sebastian Vettel is like “having a performance engineer behind the wheel”.

Vettel made his first appearance at Aston Martin last week having completed his switch from Ferrari, and the four-time world champion appears to have already made an instant impression at his new team.

The German is looking to banish the memories of a difficult last few years at Ferrari by helping to lead the former Racing Point squad into its new era as the Aston Martin works team.

And team principal Szafnauer gave a glowing verdict on Vettel following his first day in the job at the Silverstone-based outfit.

“At 33 years old you don't forget how to drive a Formula 1 racing car fast, so he definitely hasn't forgotten how to do that,” Szafnauer told Sky Sports.

“And for sure the work ethic is still there, he’s really, really hungry to perform.

"We've started working with him this year already and you can see it. He asked all the right questions and a lot of them. He's really hungry for knowledge.

"An engineer described Sebastian to me as [like] having a performance engineer behind the wheel.

"He wants to know as much, if not more, than the performance engineer you have working on the car, whose job it is to understand every little aspect of car performance. Seb wants to know that much - plus more.

"That's a good trait to have, he has that, he carried that with him to our team. We see it and he is really, really hungry, as he said, to have fun again in Formula 1. But fun to him means being competitive.”

Vettel heads into the 2021 campaign after enduring his worst season in F1 last year, but Szafnauer says he has clearly witnessed his star driver’s desire to succeed and expects the team will benefit from Vettel partnering Lance Stroll.

“His attitude coming into here is he wants to continue racing if it can be fun,” said Szafnauer.

“Fun for him means being competitive, fun for him means working really hard and extracting every bit of performance out of a car and achieving what the team can achieve and being a big part of that. He’s highly motivated.

“I think he and Lance will be a great partnership. Seb is very experienced but not over the hill by any means at the age of 33 and lance is much younger and on the learning curve but naturally very fast so I think that combination will suit us very well.”

 

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