Sebastian Vettel believes finishing third in the Formula 1 constructors' championship is a realistic target for Aston Martin in 2021.

Vettel joined the newly rebranded Aston Martin outfit having been dropped by Ferrari last year.

2020 was a disappointing season for the German as he finished 13th in the drivers' championship with just one podium to his name.

Under the Racing Point guise, the team finished fourth in the constructors' championship having missed out on a top-three finish at the final race in Abu Dhabi

Speaking about his new team's chances at the launch of the AMR-21, Vettel said: “Obviously it’s the whole team but you have Lawrence at the top. he’s very committed, very enthusiastic and working really hard - he’s not just supplying the needs to the team but very much engaged and pushing the team I believe in the right direction.

 “I think it’s difficult to set a goal for this year. Obviously, the team fought for third last year in the constructors’ and that’s sort of the unofficial goal - or maybe official goal - for this year, but people are hungry to win. I think it’s the first shot with similar money to anyone else on the grid, probably a rare shot, so it won’t be easy to catch up in a breath but the ambition is definitely there to catch up, not just from Lawrence [Stroll] but from the whole team. So far I’m in and I’m happy to do everything I can to help.”

Team principal and CEO Otmar Szafnauer said Aston Martin will a “3-5 year time period” to be in a position to fight for the title in F1 - something Vettel agrees with and highlighted the example of Mercedes and what it went through prior to its dominant period of success in the hybrid era.

“I think it is a longer-term project if you really want to win, ” Vettel added. “If you look at Mercedes, they started somewhere in 2011 or 2012 and then really got into the winning ways with a new power unit when they just got out of the gates a lot faster than anyone else. But the car wasn’t really that great in 2014 chassis-wise, and from then onwards, if you say from 2011 then it took them another five years to really build a car that was also considered the best chassis. 

“So that’s the time it takes but then everybody has that time and not everybody has done the job. There are a lot of projects going around, different manufacturers, and in the end only one can win and Mercedes has been the one that’s been the strongest. So hats off to them, and the others were just not good enough.”

 

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