Fernando Alonso has said his relationship with Lance Stroll is a “very unique” one among his team-mates, with a huge amount of communication taking place between the two.
Alonso was the dominant driver within Aston Martin in his first season at the team, with Stroll initially keeping pace with the two-time World Champion before suffering a mid-season dip, and finishing closer to his team-mate’s performance again.
With team owner Lawrence Stroll overseeing operations, a part of Alonso’s arrival has been to guide son Lance on his way in Formula 1 in an almost mentor-like role for the future – and this has led to a different kind of dynamic than Alonso has been used to in his career.
Fernando Alonso opens up on ‘unique’ Lance Stroll partnership
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
While some inter-team pairings opt to keep their distance, with the first opponent a driver has to beat over the course of a weekend being their team-mate, Aston Martin have taken a much more collaborative approach with their two drivers.
Alonso was full of praise for how Stroll has handled himself through the peaks and troughs of the season, having begun the year after fracturing his hand.
“It has been very good,” Alonso told media including PlanetF1.com when asked about his first year alongside Stroll at Aston Martin.
“I think we have a very unique relationship, I think, in any team that I was working for and in any team that I know in the current paddock.
“We talk a lot, we are in contact every week on the telephone, at the factory, at the races and we try to make sure that we are all in the same direction and we share many things.
“He’s been through some difficulties this year. The car was just changing the behaviour a little bit and he was just struggling a little bit more than me, and now I think we’ve fixed a few things in the car and he’s back to the top form.
“It was impressive to see his dedication and his motivation in the highs and in the lows, at the beginning of the year with the broken hand, and then midway through the season with some difficulties, he was so determined to put things back in place again, and eventually he did, after I think Mexico, the race in Brazil, the race in Vegas.
“This was a surprise to me, to be honest, the level of commitment and the level of motivation that he has.
“So this is only good news and good things for the team.”