Monday, April 15, 2024

Lance Stroll: “I’m pleased with the set-up changes that we made overnight”

Lance Stroll felt he had a solid Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, and the Canadian was rewarded with fifth place on the grid thanks to a penalty for Pierre Gasly.

After being overshadowed by team-mate Fernando Alonso so far during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, Stroll was able to stay out of trouble unlike Alonso during Qualifying, and he secured a place on row three of the grid.

The Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team driver says there is potentially a ‘big opportunity’ on Sunday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to score good points, particularly as the AMR23 has shown good race pace all season long.

“We had a solid qualifying session today and found a strong rhythm on track,” said Stroll.  “The car was feeling good – a big improvement from yesterday – so I’m pleased with the set-up changes that we made overnight.

“The field was incredibly tight though and there are a few cars that are out of position across the grid which will make for an interesting race.

“I think tomorrow is a big opportunity, so we’ll be working through the data and strategy plans tonight to ensure we’re ready to make the most of it.”

“I’m still optimistic we could score some good points” – Fernando Alonso

Team-mate Alonso was always on the back foot during Qualifying right from the moment he ran through the gravel trap at the final corner ahead of his first run in Q1, with damage to the floor limiting his potential.

Alonso, who has finished on the podium in five of the opening six races of the season, will also gain a place thanks to Gasly’s penalty, but that will leave him only eighth on the grid, a long way from where he has been in many of the previous events.

Despite his relatively lowly position on the grid, he remains optimistic of a strong result, even if a podium finish seems long way away.

“I made a mistake on my out lap in Q1 and ran wide at the exit of the last corner which damaged the floor,” said Alonso.  “This cost us some crucial lap time today.

“It’s a shame as I think we had the pace to be fighting at the front. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow as I felt like the car was still competitive even with the damage.

“If we can put it all together, I’m still optimistic we could score some good points tomorrow. The fans have been amazing, so we’ll be trying to put on a show for them in the race.”

Fernando Alonso will start eighth on the grid in his home Grand Prix – Credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team