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Vettel tipped to drive Stroll to new level

Connor O'Brien

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Thursday 14th January, 2021 - 8:56am

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Sebastian Vettel

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer believes four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel will play a critical role in developing team-mate Lance Stroll.

Vettel was chief among the flurry of high-profile driver movements for season 2021, being replaced by Carlos Sainz at Ferrari before securing a deal to bump Sergio Perez out of the team previously known as Racing Point.

Despite Vettel coming off a dire final campaign at Ferrari in which team-mate Charles Leclerc almost tripled his points tally, Szafnauer is eager to tap into the German’s ‘winning mentality’.

The 33-year-old, of course, comes with 53 race wins to his name and four titles achieved in succession from 2010-13 while at Red Bull.

“It’s hugely exciting for everyone in the team,” Szafnauer said of his 2021 driver line-up.

“In Sebastian, we have a proven four-time World Champion with experience of helping teams become race-winning and championship-contending outfits.

“That’s why he is such an important signing for us.

“He brings a winning mentality and we will all undoubtedly learn a lot from him on this journey.

“In Lance, we have a young and talented, hard-working driver who enjoyed his best campaign to date last year and really made strides in all areas of his racing.

“We know if we give him the tools, he’s more than capable of helping the team reach its goals.”

Stroll took two podiums and a maiden pole position last year – albeit still finishing seven places behind Red Bull-bound Perez in the standings – and Szafnauer expects he’ll go to a new level under Vettel’s guidance.

“We also think Sebastian will bring out the best in Lance, with Lance pushing Sebastian hard in return, so we’re delighted with our 2021 line-up,” he added.

“It’s the ideal blend of experience, race-winning knowhow, and raw talent.”

Aston Martin is set to launch its new-look livery in March.

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