Vettel 'at peace' with 2020 woes, ignoring critics

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Sebastian Vettel says he is "at peace" with his difficult 2020 season as he moves into a new chapter at Aston Martin.

After already being told he would be leaving Ferrari, the four-time world champion endured his worst year in Formula 1, finishing 13th in the Drivers' standings and being comprehensively beaten by teammate Charles Leclerc.

Those struggles caused some to question if Aston Martin made the right decision to drop now-Red Bull driver Sergio Perez in favour of Vettel.

But as Seb looks to reset at the Silverstone-based squad, he is happy to put 2020 firmly in the past.

“I’ve obviously thought about it a lot last year, during the season, and I’m obviously not happy with how last year went in terms of performance, partly my performance,” he said after the launch of the 2021 car this week.

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“I don’t have any regrets, obviously there are things that didn’t go well and things I would have liked to go better, and differently and so on, but ultimately I’m very much looking forward to this year.

“I’m very much at peace with last year. I know that it hasn’t been to my standards that I mostly hold myself, I’ve never really cared what people say or think or – sorry – write.

"But that’s why I think it’s important I’m at peace with that myself, and very much looking forward to this year, and having very, very high expectations myself.”

As for whether Vettel feels he needs to make a point to those who question if he still has it, he added...

“I am pretty sure when I say goodbye to Formula 1 I will be forgotten very quickly and that’s OK, I think that’s healthy," he claimed.

“That’s why also I am not too bothered about proving a point to people and really just focusing on my own bit, which right in front of me, is myself.

“Hopefully it doesn’t sound too egotistic or arrogant but it’s myself and the team around me [that matter].

“If anything, in the wider bigger sense, it is the people who support me [and] have given me so much in the past 10 years, and have stood beside me no matter the last result.

“I think F1 is moving very fast. Not just literally in terms of speed but also moving on fast, therefore you always [get] judged on the last couple of results.

“You can come from nothing and be a hero by having a couple of good results or in my case, more than 50 wins on your side and people think that you’re just average. It’s how it goes.”

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Ever since the signing of Vettel was confirmed, Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer has continually said the emphasis is on them to give the German the right environment to return to his best.

And that view hasn't changed.

"I've always said, and will continue to say so, at 33 years old you don’t forget how to drive a Formula 1 car fast," he said. "So it’s got to be other things.

"We will work tirelessly to make sure that we don't introduce those things, and actually alleviate them.

"An arm around the shoulder means that everybody’s listening to his wants and his needs. And we’ll work hard to make sure the car is to his liking and the setup is like he wants it.

"We’ve got two drivers to look after and if we treat them equally, which in the past we've been really good at doing and I anticipate we'll do that in the future as well, I think that's all it takes with Seb.

"And then if he doesn't overdrive the car, drives like he can, and we will definitely get the best out of him."