Monaco GP 2022
A converted Aston Martin is slowly gaining momentum. His attributes slowly became evident. Sebastian Vettel entered Q3 without any concussions and thinks he would have beat Hamilton’s time had it not been for his mistake in the first corner.
The premiere of the B version of the Aston Martin AMR22 ended in the first quarter. In Monte Carlo, Sebastian Vettel made his way into the final knockout round without shivering too much and could have beaten Lewis Hamilton if his first attempt had gone as cleanly as the previous rounds. “I took the first corner too low.” According to the data, two to three tenths fell to the side of the road. That could have been the Hamilton era.
Like many of his teammates, Vettel only had a fresh batch of light material in the third quarter. Against the trend, the team and driver decided to use the better tire on the first try. It paid off because Sergio Perez’s crash deprived everyone of the chance to improve.
Aston Martin still remembers qualifying a year ago. “Last year we did it in reverse in the same situation. First the used tyres, then the new tyres. Then there was a red flag at the end and we gave the new set. We learned from that. When there is team manager Andy Stevenson explained that there are accidents in the quarter The third and then at the end.
A new concept proves itself
Sebastian Vettel is satisfied with his ninth place on the grid. It represents a clear improvement over Barcelona, where drivers and technicians still have to adapt to the completely new car concept. The result gives hope that Andy Green’s engineers have backed the right horse. The revamped Aston Martin also works with more ground clearance and more suspension travel.
A good sign for Vettel: “With the old car we had a big problem here. It would have been the same to us as the Mercedes. We would have had to drive really hard and deep and we would jump all over the place.”
And according to Vettel, this was just the beginning: “We have a lot of leeway. Now we are waiting for the parts that will allow us to drive any setup we want. If we can do it all the way, imagine, maybe we can fight Mercedes soon.”
Rain as a lottery worker
The team was convinced Lance Stroll could have made it to the third quarter. The Canadian car only finished at the last minute after a kiss on the wall at the end of the second pool chicane.
“Then Lance had a moment in Q1 where he almost lost the car in the first pool corner. It was practically a copy of the number Seb had in the same spot the day before. The car caught on great, but that was also the end of it,” Stevenson said.
Team boss Mike Crack awards World Championship Points as a goal. A ninth place on the grid would be a good starting point in dry weather. But Monte Carlo expects cooler temperatures and rain on Sunday. Vettel fears: “If the weather is wet throughout the race, it could become a lottery.” But he believes more in mixed conditions. “And it can also be an opportunity to score good points.”
Shocking moment with Sainz
Monte Carlo has always been a place of impending accidents. Many of these are never shown on TV. Both Aston Martin drivers faced shock moments with Carlos Sainz on lap three. Hours later, Vettel’s hair stopped:
“I went up the hill at full speed to the casino, and suddenly there was a red wall in front of me. Carlos was driving at a brisk pace in the middle of the road. Fortunately, he pulled a little to the left and I was able to charm my way to the right.”
Before that, he came across the Spaniard’s Stroll in a Ferrari. With noticeably lower speed ahead of the Rascasse curve. Andy Stevenson, like the hosts, blamed the team. “It is impossible for the drivers to control the traffic behind them in Monte Carlo. The team has to direct them. We inform our driver when the next car closes within ten seconds. Since then, we keep him informed of the gap. In Seb’s case, he has “told Ferrari to Sainz that Mick Schumacher was on a fast lap. They didn’t mention Seb. Then Mick stopped and Sainz looked for him in the rearview mirror, not knowing that our car was approaching full throttle.”