Two races after the rest of the grid, Sebastian Vettel is preparing to make his 2022 debut at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. He’ll have lots of homework to catch up on after a positive COVID-19 test forced him to miss the first two races of this year.
That means he’s not driven the new cars since Bahrain pre-season testing almost a month ago, as super-sub Nico Hulkenberg replaced him behind the wheel of the Aston Martin in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Recognising he’s got lots to learn about the AMR22 in Melbourne, Seb said he feels like a kid again and compared the feeling of returning to turning up late to school.
“After testing positive and missing the first two races, it feels a bit like arriving late to school, so I’m really keen to get going again,” he admitted.
“For me, after nearly a month out of the car, it will be important to learn throughout the practice sessions, and I hope we can take some steps forward in what is usually an exciting and unpredictable race.”
As the four-time World Champion plays catch-up, his team will be hoping he can be their star pupil and finally get them on the board. Alongside Williams, Aston Martin are one of only two teams who have yet to score so far this season.
At least Seb will be used to making his debut down under, as he’s won the former season-opener around Albert Park three times in 2011, 2017 and 2018.
Odds on him asking Mick Schumacher for some tips
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