Vettel signed for Aston Martin after he was dropped by Ferrari after six seasons with the team.

The Silverstone-based outfit endured a difficult year as it was most affected by the changes to the floor regulations for 2021, struggling to seventh in the constructors’ championship.

Aston Martin’s lack of form meant that Vettel struggled to consistently score points, although he finished on the podium with a fantastic display in Azerbaijan.

Szafnauer highlighted Vettel’s willingness to work with the engineers and the strong rapport he already has with the team.

“He’s been brilliant. He’s such a man of integrity, he works hard, great work ethic, leaves no stone unturned,” he said.

“The engineers like working with him, the mechanics love him as a person. He’s just a genuine guy. And that goes a long way in life.”

Despite not working with him before, Szafnauer said he wasn’t surprised by how well Vettel settled into the team.

“I never worked with him as closely as I have this year but I’ve known him for 15 years,” he explained.

“Everyone else that has worked closely with him talked about him in the same way that I’m talking about him now. 

“And socially, I could see those traits as well. So was I surprised? No, but I was delighted to have what I thought he was confirmed by his actions.”

Vettel finished second behind Esteban Ocon at the Hungarian Grand Prix but was later disqualified after the FIA was unable to extract a sufficient fuel sample from the car.

Szafnauer believes that was his best performance of the season and one that would have earned him a victory, on track at least, had it not been for a sluggish pit stop.

“Although the result didn’t count, through no fault of his own, I thought he drove a brilliant race in Budapest, and tried and tired and tried to overtake Ocon,” he added.

“He wanted the win badly. It’s just so difficult to overtake in Budapest, unless you have a massive, massive car pace advantage, which we didn’t have.

“Had it been a little bit different, a bit quicker pit stop, had we just gotten out of the pits ahead of Ocon, I think he would have left him [behind].”