Vettel ‘a lot more at home’ following Aston upgrade

Sebastian Vettel heads into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix equipped with Aston Martin’s latest aero upgrade package.

The four-time world champion credits it for delivering his best Friday performance to date with the team, after finishing eighth fastest in FP1, and then just 0.777s off Lewis Hamilton’s top time in the afternoon session.

“I think it’s fair to say it probably was our best Friday,” he said afterwards. “I was happier with the car … I think I generally felt a lot more at home.”

  • Read also – FP2: Hamilton and Bottas end Friday quickest in Barcelona

“It’s a step forward,” he insisted. “It’s good to tick that off, and now as I said we try to improve the package where we are now.”

Vettel made a breakthrough last weekend in Portugal when he reached the final round of qualifying for the first time since the British Grand Prix with Ferrari. He confirmed that would be the target again this week.

“That’s sort of the region we are targeting for and I think if everything goes well then we might get in that region,” Vettel said. “It’s going to be very, very tight, there’s a lot of cars fighting for these spots.

“Obviously it’s different track conditions,” he conceded. “We need to look overnight what else we can find and then hopefully we can squeeze a couple of extra tenths.

“The midfield is very tight so everything we can find will work in our favour. It’s a long race as well, and it’s tough on the tyres, so there’s lots of stuff to look for tonight.

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“So we will look at ourselves, what we can do better for tomorrow, and then that’s also maximising our chances for Q3.”

© Aston Martin

Lance Stroll was behind his team mate in both sessions, but not by a huge amount – and hopes to close the gap on Saturday.

“Today’s times showed just how close the grid will be here, and it is never easy to overtake on this track, so we have got to make sure we have a strong Saturday and hook up the laps when it matters.

“That was a really busy Friday covering lots of laps and learning about the car. Even though it was windy and hot out there, I felt comfortable, and we did some useful work today.

“It is a case of continuing to understand the car and the new parts we have introduced, which seem to have taken us in a good direction.”

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