‘It wasn’t our target’ – Stroll and Vettel frustrated as Aston Martin fall further behind Alfa Romeo
Aston Martin have found themselves five points adrift of Alfa Romeo in the battle for sixth position in this year’s constructors’ standings, after being outscored by their main rivals for the second Grand Prix running.
Having rounded out the top 10 in Mexico, Valtteri Bottas added two more points to Alfa Romeo’s tally with P9 in Brazil, where Aston Martin could only salvage a solitary point as Lance Stroll led home team mate Sebastian Vettel.
Speaking after the race, Stroll was left to rue his pace on the medium tyres, which he used for the first two stints, before a late switch to softs unlocked some extra speed and helped him rise from P13 to P10 after the final Safety Car restart.
“I think the medium tyre wasn’t working very well in the first stint, then the soft… well, we changed the balance a bit and, on the soft at the end, [we were] much more competitive,” Stroll explained.
“It was nice to score a point, but it’s a shame Alfa Romeo also scored some points – [given that] we’re in a close fight with them.”
While Stroll benefitted from the Safety Car deployed to cover Lando Norris’ stricken McLaren, Vettel suffered as he stayed out on harder tyres than most of his rivals and dropped from P7 to P11 – questioning the soft-medium-medium approach that saw him go long in the opening stint.
“We were a bit late coming in [for our first pit stop], lost the positions, were a bit in traffic – didn’t have the free air – then we had the wrong tyres at the end,” said Vettel.
“[There’s] not much we could have done, and therefore [we] just fell out of the points. I feel we should have scored more points [as a team]. Obviously, Alfa outscored us, which wasn’t our target.”
Vettel is now preparing for his final F1 outing at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as he calls time on a two-year stint with Aston Martin and an illustrious career that includes four world titles, 53 wins and 57 pole positions.