Hulkenberg role at Aston Martin puts more pressure on Vettel - Button

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Nico Hulkenberg's arrival at Aston Martin puts more pressure on Sebastian Vettel to improve, Jenson Button has quipped.

After stepping in at Racing Point for three races last year, this week, the German was confirmed as reserve driver again at the Silverstone-based team for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Of course, the confirmation of Hulkenberg comes after Vettel's disastrous first race weekend at Aston Martin, where he was knocked out in Q1 and clashed with Esteban Ocon en route to a 15th place finish in the race.

And with Nico a more than capable replacement, if Sebastian's performances didn't improve, Button's reaction to Hulk's appointment echoed comments made by many that his seat might not be safe.

“Just to add a little more pressure on Seb’s shoulders!” the 2009 world champion wrote on social media.

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In the wake of Bahrain, Vettel was also urged by another former champion to turn his run of poor form around.

"He has to find a way out of this negative spiral, that’s very, very important," Nico Rosberg told Sky Deutschland. "We’ve seen another mistake in Bahrain, which is atypical for a four-time world champion.

"I really wish it to Sebastian, that he comes out of this low, what he brought with Ferrari and now a little bit to the first race.

"Funnily enough, it surprised me that he also says that he still doesn’t feel comfortable in the car, but okay, it’s a new team and he needs a little time.

"But Sebastian has huge talent, this is a four-time World Champion, so he’ll be fine and I’m sure we’ll see some great races from him this year."

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Also asked to react was Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who once again wondered if Vettel did the right thing by continuing to racing in 2021.

“I’ve told you my thoughts on this before, he had to take a year off and ask himself what he wanted,” the Austrian said.

“Then next year he might have a lot of opportunities in Formula 1. He didn’t do that.

“Now he’s in Aston Martin and they have a very similar car to Mercedes and so they are having the same problems as Mercedes too. His first race with them was far from liberating.

“They will eventually achieve to some extent. They will manage to improve the control of the vehicle, but they are not at Mercedes' level.

“Aston Martin is now sixth or seventh [in the pecking order]. With the Mercedes engine and what they now have, of course they will go up but that won’t change things.”