Lance Stroll admits Aston Martin car ‘still felt like crap’ in Brazil qualifying

Oliver Harden
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll can't contain his joy after qualifying third for the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll claimed the Aston Martin car “still felt like crap” as he secured third place on the Brazilian Grand Prix grid, blaming the poor feeling on the worsening conditions at Interlagos.

Stroll has seen his place in the Aston Martin team come under severe scrutiny after six consecutive Q1 exits since September’s Italian GP at Monza, but was back to his best at Sao Paulo on Friday.

The Canadian was evenly matched with two-time World Champion team-mate Fernando Alonso throughout qualifying, pipping the Spaniard by less than a tenth to claim third on the grid behind Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Lance Stroll ends poor run with third on the grid in Brazil

After a troubled second half of the season, Aston Martin’s strong result was partly a function of the team’s decision to position Alonso and Stroll at the front of the queue in the pit lane at the start of Q3.

Stroll felt the team executed the session to perfection, but admitted the car did not feel great underneath him as a storm arrived at the start of Q3.

He said: “I guess time will tell if we build on today and we can keep up this form at other places.

“I don’t think we were lucky today, I think we made our own luck. We did well going at the front of the queue and getting good track position. The weather was coming in, so I think that was smart.

“But I still really felt like crap in the car. It was really tricky in Q3 and then I think the wind changed direction.

“So it’s still really tough, but I think we did a good job getting both cars, me and Fernando, at the front of the queue and the team did a good job of giving us an attempt [at] the front of the queue and before the bad weather came in.

“It looks like a lot of guys missed their laps or didn’t get them in for whatever reason, so I think we made our own luck today.”

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Despite being outqualified by his team-mate for only the second time this season, Alonso was thrilled with Aston Martin’s return to form at Interlagos – and sees it as proof that the Silverstone-based outfit remain on the right track even if they struggled to sustain their strong start to 2023.

He said: “We needed [that].

“I think that at the last two grands prix, we were experimenting a little bit and we were starting from the pit lane – all these kinds of things.

“So we needed a nice result here in Brazil for both cars to give us some some hope in the team and just prove that we understood a few things and we are competitive, so this proves that we know what we’re doing and I’m happy with that.”

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