The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team had a very productive opening day of pre-season testing at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain on Friday.

Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel who joined the Silverstone-based outfit from Ferrari over the off-season was happy with his first proper day in the AMR-21 having completed 53 laps and speaking following the action, the German commented saying:

“It was a very productive morning and really the first opportunity we’ve had to truly put the AMR21 through its paces. As I expected, there are a lot of new things to learn. I’m working with a different power unit compared to the past, which means there are lots of new procedures involved. Then there’s a new steering wheel with all its buttons, and different braking too – so I’m very aware that there is a lot to learn. The important thing is that I know where we can improve. It was tricky on track because it was so windy out there; you could see that everyone was fighting for grip. Today wasn’t about lap times, it was about finding a good balance in the car and getting a true read on it while collecting lots of important data, which we managed by running 51 laps in the morning session. I am looking forward to going over the data tonight and continuing to make progress with the car. I think we can say it was a good first day for the AMR21.

Lance Stroll completed 46 laps ending the day in fourth place overall with a time of 01:31.782s and speaking following the action the Candian commented saying:

“It was a good start to testing. Conditions were really tricky out there and you could feel the effect of the wind on the run down to Turn One, and you could feel the tailwind in certain corners too. I don’t think anybody found it easy out there. It’s early days to be making judgements on the car and we have to remember there is a cut in downforce, which you can feel in the car, and there are new tyres too. The important thing is that we made an encouraging start and it felt good to drive the AMR21. We spent the majority of today doing aero mapping and collecting plenty of useful data. It’s great to be back in the car and really feeling the energy of the team. It is a new beginning as Aston Martin and I am enjoying working with Sebastian and getting to know how he operates. All in all, it’s been a productive session and I definitely enjoyed my day in the AMR21!”

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