‘We were maybe more aggressive than others’ – Aston Martin duo play down impressive Friday pace in Austria
Having finished the Styrian Grand Prix eighth and twelfth with Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin ended FP2 for the Austrian Grand Prix at the same track with both drivers inside the top five. So, is a much better showing from the green cars on the cards for this weekend? If it is, the drivers weren’t prepared to predict as much…
“It’s Friday,” smiled Vettel after coming in P5. “Obviously if we are P5 tomorrow that would be amazing, but it’s still early days.
“Maybe we were a little more aggressive than other people. But it’s definitely good, we’ll take it. We tried a couple of things as well, so let’s see tomorrow. Different conditions this weekend. Hopefully we’ve done our homework in the time in between [races] and we’re a bit stronger this weekend.”
Vettel was disappointed to be eliminated in Q2 last weekend, settling for P14 on the grid. However, the German is hopeful of a better qualifying amid this weekend’s cooler (and potentially wetter) conditions.
“Last Saturday wasn’t that good, so hopefully tomorrow we have a better day,” he said. “[We need] smooth runs and the aim is to go as high up as possible – Q3 is what we are aiming for which is the top 10.”
Stroll did crack the top 10 in qualifying last week, and, after a morning that saw him spin twice in FP1, was pleased with his P4 in FP2 on Friday, even if he was hedging his bets about what that position meant in the grander scheme of things.
“It felt pretty good out there - not sure what the others are up to though,” said the Canadian, who also shared a tense exchange with his engineer en route to P4.
“It was an eventful morning, but a smoother afternoon. Overall we got some good laps in today and learnt a lot, so I look forward to tomorrow.”
Aston Martin may well be helped by the subtle shift in tyre compounds this weekend, with Pirelli bringing tyres which are a step softer than last week – with Stroll saying the difference was immediately obvious: “It’s definitely different from last week. I think it’s great Pirelli brought a different tyre, it mixes things up, behaves a little differently.
“It feels good on the softer compounds and might mix up strategy a bit for the race too, which would be cool. As you can see it’s a tight pack. We don’t know on Friday what everyone is doing, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Aston Martin come into the race sixth in the constructors’ championship, just two points behind AlphaTauri.