Aston Martin goes top five with 'more aggressive' Friday

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin at the Austrian Grand Prix. Friday July 2 2021, Spielberg, Austria.
© Aston Martin F1

Aston Martin drivers Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel enjoyed a strong start to the second consecutive F1 race weekend at the Red Bull Ring on Friday.

Lance Stroll ended the afternoon practice in fourth place behind Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen. His team mate, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, was just one place and a little over a tenth further back.

However, neither man was getting carried away this early in the proceedings.

“It’s Friday,” Vettel told the media afterwards. “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," he suggested. "But it’s definitely good, we’ll take it.

"We’re a bit stronger this weekend," he continued. "It was nice to be in the top five in the afternoon, but the focus is on making sure we show some good pace in qualifying and reach Q3 to give ourselves the best possible chance of points.

"It was interesting conditions out there today because we have a softer range of tyres this weekend and it was much cooler conditions. There was also some drizzle at the end, although it didn't affect us very much.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, at the Austrian Grand Prix. Friday July 2 2021, Spielberg,

© Aston Martin F1

"We tried a couple of things as well, so let’s see tomorrow," he said. "We have done our homework after last weekend’s race and we tried a few different things today.

“Last Saturday wasn’t that good, so hopefully tomorrow we have a better day,” he added. “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."

As for Stroll, the Canadian had an eventful morning with two spins in FP1 but was altogether much happier in the afternoon. “It felt pretty good out there. Not sure what the others are up to though,” he said.

"The morning was a little more eventful for me," he continued. "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.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, at the Austrian Grand Prix. Friday July 2 2021, Spielberg, Austria

© Aston Martin F1

"One of the key factors this weekend will be the softer range of tyres that Pirelli has chosen. I think it is a good call because it could mix things up on Sunday and create some strategy variance.

"In a tight midfield battle, that could be exciting. On our side, the car feels good on the softer tyres.

"All in all, we can be happy with our work today. Now it is about extracting the maximum for qualifying tomorrow," he added.

"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.”

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter