Lawrence Stroll has praised Sebastian Vettel for recovering from a slow start to the 2021 Formula 1 and getting “up to speed” with Aston Martin.
The team’s owner spared no expense to bring the four-time world champion in from Ferrari over the off-season, but the initial signs were slightly troubling.
Vettel had perhaps the worst season of his career in 2020 and started the new campaign by failing to score points at the first four races.
However, the German followed that up with a fifth-place finish in Monaco and an unexpected podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Vettel now sits 10th in the drivers’ championship with 30 points, despite a difficult British Grand Prix where he spun early on.
“Is he our most expensive employee? Yes,” Stroll said. “How do I rate his season so far? I think he started slow, and is currently up to speed.
“The slow start also had to do with the troubles we encountered in testing, where we had very, very little [time], first of all, only three days I think it was we had, and [he had] a day-and-a-half of the three days.
“We had all kinds of glitches with the car, so a lack of running time. So yes, he’s the most expensive, but I think he’s doing a great job.”
Vettel’s teammate Lance Stroll has not been quite as impressive, with 18 points from the opening 10 races, but his father said he has “no concerns” about his performance level.
“I think Lance has done an extraordinary job – he is all of 22 years of age – with his performances on pole and several podiums,” the elder Stroll added.
“He is competing this year with Sebastian. I think they are probably about even, so I don’t have any concerns or feelings that Lance has a lack of performance.
“As he grows he will get more experience, and as he gets more experience, like anyone Lance’s age, he will get stronger. It’s not exclusive to him.
“So I have absolutely no concerns,” Stroll concluded.