Formula 1 chief Ross Brawn says Sebastian Vettel has “a different vibe about him” and is “reborn and refreshed” in the wake of the German’s podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Four-time World Champion Vettel joined Aston Martin for 2021 following a six-year stint with Ferrari that ended in disappointing fashion.
Vettel failed to reach the top 10 at the opening quartet of grands prix with Aston Martin but claimed fifth in Monaco and built on the display with an impressive race performance in Azerbaijan.
A long stint on Hards lifted Vettel from 11th up to sixth and at the first Safety Car restart he improved to fourth, passing Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly.
Fourth became third when Max Verstappen crashed out and Vettel subsequently moved into second at the late restart following Lewis Hamilton’s excursion.
“Max did an imperious job, I can’t fault anything he did – and was ultimately unlucky,” said Brawn, writing in his post-race column.
“Sergio was sensational, too, and Seb is having a second lease of life. It’s a close call, but for me, my driver of the day was Seb.
“It is a real pleasure to see him get going again. Seb’s had a tough last couple of seasons.
“I was one of the people who was uncertain about the decision Aston made in signing him up, but it’s looking to be a great call because of the way he’s driving and the results he’s getting.”
Vettel’s runner-up position marked his best result since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix and lifted him up to ninth in the standings.
It was also the first podium finish for Aston Martin as a constructor.
“He’s reborn again, he’s refreshed,” said Brawn. “There’s a different vibe about him. And it just shows how the whole psychological aspect can impact performance.
“Seb has found himself in a much more comfortable place, with the right sort of pressure and with engineers who he is learning to work with. He’s getting results and he deserves it.”