Lance Stroll has revealed that Aston Martin are “really excited” for the start of the 2023 Formula 1 season after the team’s strong performance in winter testing.
Aston Martin are poised to spring a surprise this year after the AMR23 car proved to be a likely top-four contender during last week’s three-day test, with Mercedes driver George Russell predicting the team to be ahead of his own – and potentially fighting Ferrari for second spot – in the competitive order at this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Stroll missed the test after suffering a broken wrist in a cycling accident but will return to the cockpit in Sakhir having been cleared to participate in the race weekend – and the Canadian has admitted to being impressed by the pace of the car in the hands of new team-mate Fernando Alonso in testing.
He told reporters, including PlanetF1.com: “It looks great. I think everyone’s really excited, I’m really excited to be here and to get back driving. It was painful watching the test from a couch and not being in the car.
“Early signs look good, but never know until you go racing. So I think we’re going to find out a lot more when we start this week.”
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Asked directly by PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher if he had spoken to Alonso over the potential of the car, Stroll said: “Little things, for sure, where he thinks it could be better and what they worked on over the week, but I think he was feeling pretty good. That was what he was telling me.
“Everything sounds positive. I think he was comfortable in the car right away and they made some improvements during the three days last week, which was nice to hear.”
When questioned by Maher in the FIA press conference, Alonso explained that every effort had been made to keep Stroll in the loop during his enforced absence.
“We’ve been in contact from Day 1, so Lance was updated on everything during the test,” the two-time World Champion said.
“We used to speak with him in lunch breaks and also in the evening sessions.
“He was at the simulator [in] the last few days as well, giving us feedback, so we were on the same page basically in real time.”
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher