Lance Stroll admits Aston Martin have a “learning curve” in front of them after a disappointing start to the season in qualifying in Bahrain.
Both drivers were knocked out in Q1 with Stroll set to line up P19 and stand-in driver Nico Hulkenberg starting P17 for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Significant investment has been made at Aston Martin in the hope of bringing the team closer to the front-runners in Formula 1 in the coming years, but their start to 2022 has left them with work to do to catch up to their main rivals.
Stroll looked on the bright side as points are awarded on Sundays, but admitted his car’s set-up may be sub-optimal heading into the race.
“We are disappointed with today’s result and it’s not what we expected after a positive FP3,” said the Canadian. “We made some changes to the car and perhaps they were in the wrong direction.
“In qualifying, we didn’t have the grip to extract the performance. We need to go over the data and understand it so we can learn from this.
That marks the end of our qualifying session.
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) March 19, 2022
“The early races will be a learning curve as we try to understand the car more. Tomorrow is a new day, so we will come back ready to try to make progress in the race.”
Hulkenberg, on the other hand, stepped in for Sebastian Vettel at short notice after the four-time former World Champion tested positive for COVID-19, and was on the pace of his Aston Martin partner Stroll from the off.
He was pleased with what he was able to get from the AMR22 and despite such a small gap between him and a place in Q2, he said he was “satisfied” with how the session had gone.
“I think it was a good qualy – short – but from where I was sitting it was good,” he told Formula1.com.
“I’m happy with the laps I produced. They were clean, they were good, I didn’t think I left much out there.
“Having said that, I think it was five hundredths to Q2. You can probably always get that somewhere, but there was no obvious mistake where I really lost lap time.
“From that point of view, given where I came from at the start of this weekend, I’m pretty pleased and satisfied with that.
“I’ve got respect for tomorrow and the race. That will, I think, be the hardest day actually and the biggest challenge ahead because [of] being in the fight again, surrounded by cars.
“That will be challenging, managing the tyres and everything. It’s a big task, a big challenge.
“But as I did until now, I’ll just do what I can and we’ll see what happens.”
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