Four-time world champion Vettel announced at the end of July he would be quitting F1 at the end of the season, calling time on a grand prix career stretching back to 2007.
Vettel joined Aston Martin in 2021 following his exit from Ferrari, scoring the team’s first – and to date only – podium since rebranding under the name of the British manufacturer in last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough hailed Vettel’s efforts with the team, noting there had not been any drop in his commitment or change of approach since revealing his retirement plan.
“He is the ultimate professional really, so I’d say no to that,” said McCullough when asked if he’d seen anything change with Vettel in the past six weeks.
“Maybe he’s a little bit more relaxed in 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 a work side of things.”
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22
Photo by: Alessio Morgese
McCullough added that Vettel has been “great fun to work with” during their time together at Aston Martin, helping its development as it bids to turn into a title-fighting outfit over the next five years.
“[He is] very thoughtful, very strong on the engineering side and he has brought a lot to the team in how we operate and how we look at things,” said McCullough.
“A very inquisitive mind, great fun to be with, but also understands lifting the team from a moral side of things really well.
“So it’s been an utter pleasure with him and I’m looking forward to the next final few races with them.”
The vacant seat at Aston Martin will be taken by two-time world champion Fernando Alonso for 2023, who was signed in a shock swoop from 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 looked “particularly competitive and is really wanting to do well” from his current efforts.
“We see the job he’s doing at Alpine week-in, week-out,” said McCullough.
“[We are] really looking forward to getting him into our team and see what we can learn with him and how he can help continue to drive us forwards.”