Formula 1 2021, Bahrain GP: Sebastian Vettel handed five penalty points in 'tricky' debut with Aston Martin
Vettel's day began with a five-place grid penalty for failing to obey double yellow flags in Saturday's qualifying and continued with a collision with Esteban Ocon's Alpine under braking at Turn One in the race.
Sakhir: Sebastian Vettel suffered one of the most disappointing days of his recent Formula One career on Sunday, failing to score a point on his debut with Aston Martin and collecting five penalty points on his super-licence.
The four-time champion had arrived at the Bahrain International Circuit full of hope but by Sunday evening he was struggling for upbeat words as many paddock observers shrugged and offered only sympathy.
His day began with a five-place grid penalty for failing to obey double yellow flags in Saturday's qualifying and continued with a collision with Esteban Ocon's Alpine under braking at Turn One in the race.
Vettel was found to be at fault for that accident and was handed two penalty points to go with the three he received earlier in the day.
In the end, he struggled on and finished 15th.
"It was obviously a tricky race for me," he said.
"I was trying to cut back to the left, but Esteban was moving left as well. And then, when I was right behind him, I locked the fronts and hit him straight on. So obviously that was not great for both of our races.
"We tried the one stop. We had to try something different. Initially, it looked like it wasn't that bad, but, towards the end, I was struggling quite a lot with tyres. " So, I don't think we could have realistically scored points today."
Formula 1 2021: Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas finishes fastest in first Portuguese Grand Prix practice
Bottas was 0.025sec ahead of Verstappen with the other Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez, third.
Formula 1 2021: Hamilton wins from P2, Verstappen errs again, other talking points from Portuguese GP
In the Drivers’ Championship, Hamilton leads Verstappen by 8 points - but the battle for P3 has four drivers separated by 15 points, Norris being chased by Bottas, Leclerc and Perez.
Hamilton, who is aiming for his 100th pole and 97th win, said the conditions made it difficult to get proper grip on the track.