Aston coach defends Vettel after Australian Grand Prix

Australian Grand Prix 2022

Sebastian Vettel faced one of the most disappointing race weekends of his career in Melbourne. Heppenheimer threw his car into a wall twice. Then team boss Mike Crack defended the four-time world champion.

In fact, Sebastian Vettel’s season should have already started in Melbourne. After surviving coronavirus, the German was finally able to complete his first weekend race with two Grand Prix races delayed. But in the end, three practice sessions, one qualifying session and the race totaled only 48 laps. It wasn’t really worth the long trip.

The balance sheet reads like a nightmare: Engine trouble in first practice session, €5,000 fine for illegal scooter ride on the track, repair break in second practice session, crash in third practice session, only one hectic run in qualifying, with flashes in pit lane (fine 600 euros), fourth from last on the grid, then in the race first, the ride to the gravel (lap 10) and finally the final retirement after a crash of the fourth turn (lap 22).


Nothing has ever come together with Aston Martin this season.

No criticism of Vettel

“You can’t take too many positives from this weekend. It can’t get any worse. So the next race can only get better,” Vettel tried to see things positively. “I found it very difficult. Of course we are not as fast as we would like. I will probably be running over the car at the moment and want to get rid of it a lot. We have a lot of problems, but unfortunately there are no solutions yet.”

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Vettel really wanted to know more about his racing gear. But the fun ended before the first half. After Vettel replaced his racing clothes with streetwear, the FIA ​​doctors also reported that he had to report to the medical centre. A preventive examination is mandatory for effects with a delay of more than 15 grams. But Vettel was able to quickly clarify everything. Except for self-confidence nothing has been scratched.

Naturally, the self-proclaimed experts in the ring and on social media were quick to criticize. But team boss Mike Krake took his pupil straight from the line of fire: “Everything is fine with Seb. The fact that a driver like him, a four-time world champion, has so many problems over the weekend has nothing to do with his driving performance.”

Jumping like a brick wall

Instead, Krack shifts the responsibility to the engineers, who supply Heppenheimer with a car that can only look bad. “It’s not normal for a driver of his caliber to be off the track so often over the weekend. It has nothing to do with missing two races. He’s won multiple times in Melbourne. He knows where to go from here. It would be very easy to push the performance into the second half. “.

Technicians are now committed to improving the car as quickly as possible. According to Krack, it was already hoped the pace would improve a step further in Melbourne. “But unfortunately we were unable to show that.” The big problem is still bouncing back over the strait. Mechanics have to thread the AMR22’s landing gear far enough away that the aerodynamics will fall out the window.

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“The car has potential, but we can’t take it out of the pack at the moment. We have issues with aerodynamics and weight. We’ve really made progress with weight. Not with aerodynamics. That’s what we have to focus on now,” says Crack of the current mood. Recoil prevents it from making progress in development. It is like a wall. It’s very frustrating.”

Lawrence Stroll - Aston Martin - Australian GP 2022 - Melbourne


Owner Lawrence Stroll doesn’t have much to smile about at the moment.

Spare parts production slows down development

Since Melbourne, a second challenge has now been added. Several accidents of pilots have looted the spare parts store properly. According to information from auto motor und sport, the last available suspension parts were on the left front of the cars on Sunday. In any case, the Imola must be reproduced, otherwise the slightest mistake in training could lead to a failure of the race.

Crack does not want to deny the lack of spare parts for a long time: “I’m sure everyone has counted the number of front wings and suspension parts that have damaged us. You can easily calculate how much we need an Imola. Now the question is how many capabilities we use to develop the car and how much we use to produce parts We have had these discussions internally since Saturday.”

Crack himself cannot be held responsible for the current misery. Behind Otmar Szafnauer, who has turned his back on Albin, has been on the Silverstone just six weeks ago. He has spent most of that time traveling, which doesn’t make it easy to settle down with his new hires.

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The engineer is still in the process of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of his team. Of course, the fact that team owner Lawrence Stroll isn’t exactly known for his patience and level-headedness doesn’t make the job any easier. The racing team needs to rest now to get out of the emergency situation.

The team leader does not look for excuses. The 50-year-old is not unprepared for a crisis: “I asked a lot of questions before I started this business. I knew it was going to be a challenge. And I didn’t expect it to be easy. This is Formula 1. You have to build a fast car, you can’t afford to commit Any bugs and you need good drivers. At the moment, we don’t have a complete set together.”

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