Fernando Alonso explains why relationship with Lance Stroll ‘a bit different’ to past team-mates

Michelle Foster
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso. February 2023.

Fernando Alonso poses for his pre-season headshots with Aston Martin. February 2023.

Having proclaimed Lance Stroll can win a F1 Drivers’ title, Fernando Alonso says if one day he’s watching as the Canadian wins with Aston Martin then he’d be “super proud” having been a part of the story.

Alonso will partner Stroll this season in what Aston Martin hope will be a better season after a disappointing P7 in last year’s championship.

Already the AMR23 has created interest, the “bold and aggressive” design drawing in part of Red Bull’s title-winning RB18.

But what quickly became apparent last season is that it’s not only about what’s visible to the naked eye that makes a large difference with the new ground effect aerodynamic cars, it’s also about what happens underneath the car.

Alonso is expected to be Aston Martin’s de facto number one driver, the Spaniard having recorded 32 race wins and two World titles. Stroll, who has three podiums to his name, has yet to win a grand prix.

They are also at very different stages of their careers, Alonso potentially beginning his final stint in Formula 1 while Stroll at 24 could still have many years ahead of him.

But while in years gone by Alonso’s first goal was to beat his team-mate and hopefully the rest of the field, this year there seems to be a different mindset with the Spaniard wanting to drive Aston Martin forward, even if Stroll is the one to finish the job.

Asked if he had any concerns about the ‘dynamic’ with his new team-mate, Alonso told the media including PlanetF1.com: “Not really.

“I’ve been been here for long enough to know different things and to experience different team-mates, different personalities.

“I was thinking about Jacques Villeneuve when you were asking the question, that was an experience. We had only three races but that was fun.

“I think with Lance it is a little bit different.

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“I feel it a little bit different, as I said, in Abu Dhabi already or during this winter, I trust this project.

“I know is my probably my last team to drive for. I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years when he was in the Ferrari academy, that was 2012 so it’s 11 years that we’ve known each other.

“And now we have this wonderful opportunity to share the team, to work together towards Aston Martin being, hopefully, contention for the championships in the future.”

“If I’m driving, it’s good,” he continued. “If I’m not driving, and I said in Abu Dhabi and I say now, I will be super proud to be part of this organisation.

“If one day we have Aston Martin dominating races and championships and the two drivers are fighting for the championship, like Red Bull with Sebastian and Webber or Hamilton and Bottas, to help this guy [Stroll] fighting for a championship that will be a proud moment for me having been part of this first steps in this brand.”