West Kerry F1 engineer’s delight as Aston Martin Racing take second at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Sósanna Ní Dhubháin, the Formula One engineer with strong West Kerry roots has spoken of her delight at Aston Martin’s first podium finish during Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Sósanna Ní Dhubháin works as a Senior Composite Designer and Reliability Engineer at the Silvertone-based Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team. She has strong family links to West Kerry.

Team driver Sebastian Vettel took a deserved second place after an exciting and chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Team Principal and CEO Otmar Szafnauer, explained his driver’s progress.

“Sebastian drove extremely well, making up two places on lap one, running a long stint on soft tyres and thereby jumping [Yuki] Tsunoda during the pit stops, and holding seventh place at the halfway point. Then, when Lance was very sadly eliminated, Sebastian moved up to sixth. He then nailed the Safety Car restart, duly passing Charles [Leclerc] for fifth, following that by a great move on Pierre [Gasly] to take fourth. When Max [Verstappen] retired, that became third, then second when Lewis [Hamilton] overshot Turn One from the second standing start: a brilliant result for everyone in our team and the first ever podium for Aston Martin in World Championship Formula One history. In summary, then, both Lance and Sebastian showed today that we have the race pace to compete at the very front of the midfield, or better, and that is what both of them will be aiming to do as the rest of the season unfolds.”

For Ní Dhubháin, watching from her Silverstone base, it was a nerve wracking afternoon.

“The last laps were very hard to watch not knowing which way it would go but very thankful the car made it to the chequered flag in one piece” she said.”The team did a great job today with the strategy and pit stops. It’s a very well-deserved result for all the hard work everyone back at Silverstone has put in over this year.”

Vettel was more than happy with his performance.

He said: “I am over the moon and P2 means a great deal to all of us. We did not expect to be on the podium, but we made great progress through the weekend, and the car had strong race pace. Yesterday was challenging [due to the red flag in qualifying], but I was relaxed and confident going into the race. The key was being able to start with a free choice of tyres in P11. It meant we could use a new set of softs to make up two places at the start and then run longer to overcut Yuki [Tsunoda]. It gave us a platform for the second half of the race and put us in a position to take advantage. I felt good in the car, and combined with on-track events and strategy, we were able to get a really special result.”

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