“So without going into detail, because I don’t think it’s fair to compare in public, naturally these things are different, and take a bit of getting used to.
“It’s a different environment inside the car as well, just in terms of comfort. Pedals are feeling a bit different, the seat is a little bit different. It’s just small stuff, but it’s the amount of all those small things put together.”
For all the drivers who have landed in new homes in 2021 the process of adapting has been particularly difficult. Testing has been restricted to just three days per team, split between two drivers. One and a half days each, plus a bit of filming day running on unrepresentative demo tyres, is not a lot.
Various technical glitches at Aston in Bahrain didn’t help, and ultimately Vettel ran only 117 laps – fewer than any race driver, and less than half the total of Pierre Gasly, who topped the list on 237.
As a comparison when he first went to Ferrari in 2015 Vettel completed 602 laps over six days at Jerez and Barcelona. That running was spread over a month, and thus he had plenty of time to debrief and gather his thoughts along the way.
“I would have liked to just get more mileage, that’s the main thing,” he admitted last weekend. “I tried to make use of the track time, which I felt I did. It was very good for me, and I learned a lot of things.
“So now it’s obviously [important] to remember all these things and give feedback and remember going forward. This is really the key.
“Overall, it’s probably 100 laps that I’m short, and probably something similar for Lance [Stroll]. We both didn’t get what we wanted. But it’s not a big deal, it’s what it is, and we’ve got to move on.”
Vettel insists that he’s not overly concerned about the relative lack of preparation heading into the first race.
“I’m not too preoccupied, maybe it’s the age, maybe it’s the experience. Probably 10 years ago I would finally panic now. But then again, if I were to panic now, would it help?
“Probably not. So we’re just trying to do our things and use the time we have. We still got some running.