Four-time world champion Vettel announced at the end of July that he would be leaving F1 at the end of the season, taking time for a Grand Prix career stretching back to 2007.
Vettel joined Aston Martin in 2021 after leaving Ferrari, scoring the team’s first – and so far only – podium since its rebranding under the British manufacturer’s name at last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough praised Vettel’s efforts with the team, noting that there had been no drop in his commitment or change of approach since the announcement of his retirement plan.
“He really is the ultimate professional, so I’m saying no to that,” McCullough said when asked if he had seen anything change at Vettel over the past six weeks.
“Maybe he’s a little more relaxed with himself. But I wouldn’t see that in the engineering office and the way he drives the car.
“Sebastian is a bit of a machine, really from the work side.”
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22
Photo by: Alessio Morgese
McCullough added that Vettel was “great fun to work with” during their time together at Aston Martin, which has helped development as it tries to become a title fight outfit over the next five years.
“[He is] very attentive, very strong on the technical side and he has brought a lot to the team in how we work and how we look at things,” said McCullough.
“A very inquisitive mind, very nice to be with, but also understands very well that the team is lifted from a moral side of things.
“So it was a real pleasure with him and I look forward to the next final races with them.”
The vacant seat at Aston Martin will be taken by two-time world champion Fernando Alonso for 2023, who was shocked by Alpine shortly after Vettel’s retirement plan was announced.
Alonso may be the oldest driver on the grid at 41, but McCullough said the Spaniard “looks extremely competitive and really wants to do well” from his current endeavours.
“We see the work he does at Alpine week in, week out,” McCullough said.
“[We are] I’m really looking forward to getting him on our team and seeing what we can learn from him and how he can help move us forward. ”