Sebastian Vettel, four times world champion, announced at the end of July that he would leave Formula 1 at the end of the current season, ending a sports career that dates back to 2007.
The German driver joined Aston Martin in 2021 following his departure from Ferrari, scoring the Silverstone outfit’s first and only podium finish to date since its renewal under the British manufacturer’s name at last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
British performance director Tom McCullough praised Vettel’s attitude and efforts with the team, saying there had been no change in his commitment or approach to work since announcing his retirement from the series.
“He’s an incredible professional, so I would say no,” McCullough said when asked if he had seen any change in Vettel in the last six weeks.
“Maybe he’s a bit more relaxed in himself. But I don’t see that when he comes to the engineering office and in the way he drives the car when he goes out on the track.
“Sebastian [Vettel] is a bit like a machine from a work point of view,” he explained.
McCullough added that Vettel had been “a lot of fun working with ” during their time together at Aston Martin, being a key part of the team’s development as it seeks to become a title contender for the next five years. .
“He’s very thoughtful, he’s very knowledgeable on the engineering side and he’s brought a lot to the team in terms of the way they work and look at things,” he said. “He has a very inquisitive mind, he’s a lot of fun to work with, and he also knows very well how to lift the team from a moral standpoint.”
“So it’s been an absolute pleasure to be with him, and I’m looking forward to the next races to enjoy our last few days together.”
The vacant seat at Aston Martin will be filled by two-time world champion Fernando Alonso in 2023, which was announced by surprise when Alpine expected to close its renewal, just days after Vettel’s retirement from F1 was announced.
Alonso may be the oldest driver on the grid at 41, but McCullough explained that the Spaniard appeared to be “particularly competitive and very keen to do well”.
“We can see the work he’s doing at Alpine week after week,” said the director of performance.
“[We are] looking forward to him joining our team and seeing what we can learn from him and how he can help us continue to improve,” the Aston Martin man concluded.