Why Lance Stroll actually ‘did really well’ in Canada despite being crushed by Fernando Alonso

Sam Cooper
Lance Stroll with Fernando Alonso at the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso smiling.

Mike Krack has defended Lance Stroll despite the Canadian again finishing behind his team-mate Fernando Alonso in Montreal.

Owner Lawrence Stroll had hoped for a double podium in what was his home race but only one of the drivers kept their end of the bargain.

Fernando Alonso finished on the podium for the sixth time this season, the second most of all drivers behind Max Verstappen, but his team-mate Stroll ended in ninth, shifted up one spot due to Lando Norris’ penalty.

It is the seventh time that Alonso has beaten Stroll in both qualifying and the race this season with Stroll having finished ahead of the Spaniard in just one grand prix so far.

But, given his connections to the team owner, Stroll appears to be a driver without pressure and team principal Krack has sought to defend the Canadian’s Montreal outing.

“I think he did really well,” Krack told the media.

“[In qualifying], he struggled with grip, and if you struggle like that, and you don’t have the confidence, then it’s very difficult.

“[During the race], I think he drove really well. We took him out of traffic, and when he was out of traffic, he managed the lap times of the frontrunners on hard tyres.”

Krack pointed out that Stroll was one of many drivers caught up in a DRS train led by Alex Albon but praised him for rising from 16th to ninth.

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“If you are in this DRS train, it’s really hard,” said Krack. “To come from 16th to ninth is a great achievement.

“On paper, it looks only ninth, and when your team-mate finishes second, you think it’s not a good performance.

“But when you see where you’ve come from, I think it was very good.

“I think he will take the positives from here and with the races to come. We know he’s very strong in high-speed circuits, and we have couple of such circuits to come, so I’m confident that we can score with both [drivers].”

Stroll trails Alonso by 80 points after eight races and had the Canadian secured even half the points that the Spaniard has, Aston Martin would be second in the Constructors’ standings.