Continuing his fine form, Lance Stroll made it four consecutive points-scoring races for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team after finishing eighth in the Styrian Grand Prix. “We were racing well inside the points throughout the race, and it was exciting to be in a battle from the first lap until the end,” said Lance. “P8 is a good result, and we can be happy with a positive weekend from the very first lap on Friday.”
As for his teammate Sebastian Vettel, the first race in Formula 1’s Austrian doubleheader saw the German driver finish twelfth after narrowly missing out on a points finish. “It was a tough race today. The midfield was very close, and we were in the battle for points for the majority of the race,” reflected Sebastian afterwards. “It is always very easy to say that we should have done things differently in hindsight, but we are focused on coming back stronger next weekend."
Lance Stroll’s points streak came to an end in the second Austrian race, which saw the Canadian finish in the midfield in 13th. With both Aston Martin drivers starting on soft tyres, their chances of reaching the podium were severely diminished against drivers racing on harder compound tyres.
Sebastian Vettel spent much of the race just outside the top 10 but was hit by the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Räikkönen on the final lap, which sent him across the gravel. Finishing the race in the pit lane, the German driver was classified 17th overall. “It was not an easy race, which ended with a trip through the gravel because of the misunderstanding with Kimi,” said Sebastian. “It is disappointing not to score points, but we will work hard to understand where we can improve before we get to the next race, at Silverstone.”
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone saw Aston Martin make a triumphant return to the grid for its first home Grand Prix in 61 years, and take part in the first F1 Sprint Race. Celebrating with points the next day, after Lance Stroll took advantage of two standing starts to surge up the field, the team was welcomed by a sell-out British crowd. “We were able to turn around a tricky start to the weekend by finishing in P8 and scoring four points,” said Lance. “We have been working to find the right car balance and we had a breakthrough today, which is a great credit to the team.”
The British Grand Prix was less kind to Sebastian Vettel, who endured a challenging race, including a spin and retirement. “I am very disappointed to lose the car in a wheel-to-wheel battle,” said Sebastian after the race. “The weekend was looking promising and without all the problems, I should have finished well inside the points.”
The Hungarian Grand Prix was a rollercoaster for Aston Martin. Sebastian Vettel avoided the chaos at the start and worked his way to second before a duel for victory with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. His second-place finish initially secured the team’s second podium of the 2021 season, but it was not to be. In a routine post-race procedure by the FIA, the stewards were unable to take an adequate fuel sample from Sebastian’s cars, resulting in his disqualification after a flawless drive.
A disappointing race saw Lance Stroll get caught up in the opening lap melee, which resulted in his early retirement. “I did all I could to avoid contact,” said Lance, “but my race was over. We’ll take the break to regroup - and come back stronger.”
This story is an extract from an article featured in the AM49 issue of Aston Martin magazine, out now. If you're not already a subscriber, visit magazine.astonmartin.com/magazine-subscription so that you can read the full story.