Aston Martin issue Lance Stroll response after unrelenting criticism

Henry Valantine
Aston Martin drivers Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll

Fernando Alonso highlighted just one team-mate as a friend from his time in F1.

Aston Martin technical director Dan Fallows has praised Lance Stroll for his performances alongside a “formidable” Fernando Alonso this season.

After recovering from multiple fractures following a cycling accident to start the season with a roundly-praised P6 finish in Bahrain, Stroll has often struggled to match Alonso’s performances at the team this year.

The 24-year-old trails the double World Champion 149 points to 47 at the summer break stage, with work to be done to match his level once the action restarts at Zandvoort this weekend.

Aston Martin throw backing behind Lance Stroll against ‘exceptional’ Fernando Alonso

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has backed Stroll to get closer to Alonso’s performance in the second half of the season, dubbing the Canadian a “fighter” after his early season struggles with injuries.

And with 10 more races ahead for Aston Martin to try and hold onto third place in the Constructors’ Championship, restarting just five points ahead of Ferrari, Fallows has heaped praise on both drivers for how well they have performed so far.

“Our team has executed the season incredibly well so far and both our drivers have driven extremely well,” Fallows said ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix.

“In Fernando, Lance has a team-mate who is an exceptional driver and who has shown his ability from the outset of this season.

“Considering the injuries Lance sustained from his cycling accident pre-season and his determined recovery, he’s performed very well alongside a formidable team-mate.

“Both drivers have been absolutely critical in helping us understand where the car needs to be improved.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Bleak Dutch GP weather forecast could lead to F1 first at modernised Zandvoort

New offer! Celebrate F1’s return with 20% off F1 TV Pro Monthly

Lance Stroll: Fernando Alonso has made ‘no mistakes’ at Aston Martin

Stroll himself has acknowledged that Alonso has been on top form since his move to Aston Martin this season, but is choosing not to focus too much on the deficit he has to his team-mate, instead putting his energy into what he can control behind the wheel.

“I don’t really pay too much attention to that,” Stroll recently told Motor Sport Magazine. “I know more myself deep down when I do a good job, and I extract the most from the car.

“Whether I’m ahead or behind them I know when I should be patting myself on the shoulder, or the first one to kind of criticise myself in a constructive way, learn from it and come back stronger.

“I know that there’s been a lot of races where I felt like I maybe got the most out of the car, and he was a little bit quicker, and that’s just how it is. And other times where I really drove well and I was in front of him a couple of times.

“So, yeah, I’m proud of that. But for sure, he’s been at a very high level throughout the year, he’s made very few mistakes – no mistakes – and you have to give him credit for that, because he’s been driving at an extremely high level, and really getting the most out of the car every week.”

Read next: On Track GP: One step forward, two steps back? What’s wrong at Ferrari?