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Vettel “more at home” with Aston Martin F1 car after upgrades

Four-time F1 world champion Vettel failed to score points in his first three races with Aston Martin after struggling with the car’s rear-end instability following the FIA’s downforce cuts for 2021.

However, the team hoped to fix their issues with an upgrade package that teammate Lance Stroll deployed in Portugal last weekend, focusing mostly on the bottom of the car.

Vettel received his package for Friday’s training for the Spanish Grand Prix, placing him eighth in FP1 and eleventh in FP2.

The updated parts gave a boost to Vettel, who said it was Aston Martin’s “best Friday” of the season and he felt “happier” with the car.

“Of course it’s different, different track conditions, but I think I felt much better at home in general,” said Vettel.

“It seemed to be improving. I think it’s a step forward. So it’s good to tick that off.

“Now we’re going to try to improve the package [from] where we are now. The midfield is very tight so whatever we can find works in our favor.

“It’s a long race too, it’s tough on the tires. So much stuff to look for tonight.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, leaves the garage

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Vettel finished less than eight tenths of a second ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s fastest overall time in FP2, with less than half a second separating cars from Alpine, AlphaTauri, Ferrari and Red Bull and McLaren not far behind.

It has been preparing a close battle to reach the third quarter on Saturday. Since Hungary and Great Britain last year, Vettel wants to reach the top 10 in qualifying for consecutive races.

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“This is kind of a region that we are targeting and I think if everything goes well we could get into that region,” said Vettel.

“But it’s going to be very, very tight. There are a lot of cars fighting for these positions. So let’s just look at what we can do better for tomorrow.”

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