Aston Martin launched its 2022 challenger – the AMR22 – on Thursday afternoon ahead of the new season.
The Silverstone-based outfit endured a difficult 2021 campaign, finishing seventh in the constructors’ championship.
F1’s changes to the floor regulations in a bid to slow the cars down last year hit Aston Martin hard and with it focusing on 2022, it struggled to re-discover the impressive form of 2020 under the Racing Point name.
Vettel is confident that it will be a “very different” season for Aston Martin as it can upgrade its car during the campaign.
“I think at this stage everybody’s hoping to be at the top,” Vettel said at the team’s car launch. “If you look at the podium it will still look the same this year so there’s only space for one, but we hope we are in much better shape than last year.
“We have the ability this year to develop the car – we didn’t do that last year for probably more than three-quarters of the season – so it will be very different. Obviously last year we knew from the start that it’s going to be a long and difficult season so we hope for a better one.”
Looking to the season ahead, Vettel believes it will be a good test for the team in seeing how good it is.
“The truth is the team is growing, obviously having a shuffle in management is always a bit of a hiccup or shake-up and will take time to overcome, but hopefully we manage to pull together and despite growing in size becoming leaner or more efficient in our processes,” Vettel added.
“I think this year will be a true test for us and we’ll see how good we are because as I said last year we couldn’t show anything because we didn’t focus on bringing any updates, whereas this year it’s all about this set of regulations, this generation of cars and we will be able to show what we can produce and we should be.”
With billionaire Lawrence Stroll at the helm of the team, Aston Martin has big ambitions as it looks to move up the F1 pecking order.
It has already signed Dan Fallows from Red Bull and former BMW Motorsport boss Mike Krack as its new team principal, replacing Otmar Szafnauer.
Speaking about the signing of Krack, Vettel said: “I have always liked Otmar and got along with Otmar – I think it’s difficult not to get along with him. He had a very central role in the team, a lot of the guys knew him because he had been there so long, and for sure it’s a big reshuffle.
“But looking forward, I think Mike is great and I’m very much looking forward to working with him again. He’s highly-rated by everyone who shared the way with him, so let’s see is the honest answer because it’s been some years but I think he’s a great guy and has a great spirit, so hopefully it’s a strong addition to the team.”