Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin have been, until now, leading actors of this day of free practice, with the German being forced to an early stop in FP1 due to an engine problem, and market rumors that are, day by day, filling the Circus.
The inconvenience, happened during the first practice session, forced a long break which made all the teams lose a good part of the session. Vettel immediately after the car stopped rushed to the commissioners to take a fire extinguisher, fearing a fire, and to spray the liquid in the rear of his car.
“We don't have the root cause yet but he reported an engine failure,” - said Szafnauer on what happened to Vettel in FP1 - “We asked him to pull over near a marshal stand, just in case there was a fire. It's routine for us to do so when we have an engine failure.
“That's exactly what he did, but he then also anticipated himself that there may be a potential for a fire, which is why he got the fire extinguisher from the marshals."
Contract roumors in recent days are remarkably increasing in the paddock: with George Russell and Valtteri Bottas stealing the show, Guenther Steiner who today said Uralkali Haas will confirm the 2022 line-up next week and Otmar Szafnauer who, when he was asked, spoke about Sebastian Vettel's contract.
Aston Martin Team Principal and CEO hinted that the announcement of their 2022 line-up will be happening soon:
"It's a one plus one contract, and there'scertain dates within it that we have to decide by. Thosedates haven't come and gone yet, so it's just normal process.
"It's a time window when the two of us discuss the future. There's a window and a deadline, and that's not far off.
"We like Sebastian," - he said - "He likes us, and now it's time to talk about what we're going to do next year."
He also commented on Lance Stroll's performance so far, implying that he'll quite surely remain with the team also for the 2022 season:
“He’s driven really well. He’s had some bad luck, some tyre failures, some crashing at the start. But his driving has impressed me, he just needs a little bit of luck to score more points.”