Lance Stroll explains Spa crash as Fernando Alonso delivers terse response

Sam Cooper
Aston Martin's Lance Stroll at the Belgian Grand Prix. Spa-Francorchamps, July 2023.

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll at the Belgian Grand Prix. Spa-Francorchamps, July 2023.

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher.

A Lance Stroll crash cost Fernando Alonso a potential SQ3 spot as Aston Martin’s slick tyre gamble backfired.

With the track drying up after an earlier deluge, Aston Martin opted to pit Stroll for the medium in the hope the slick tyres would fire him up the timesheet.

But they paid a heavy price with the Canadian losing grip at the corner with no name, Turn 9, and crashing heavily into the barrier.

Lance Stroll explains the crash that ruined Aston Martin’s qualifying

Speaking prior to the incident, Stroll remarked that it was “too early” for the move onto the slicks, but revealed afterward that he had been the one pushing to take the gamble – one that, on another day, might have paid off handsomely.

“Well, we tried putting the slick tyres on, but it was still too early. It was really wet. Yeah, unfortunately, it didn’t work out,” he said.

“We just decided to go for it. It’s always tricky in these conditions and it was a bit early.

“It’s always hard to kind of judge and anticipate how much the track is gonna dry so it was one of those.”

Living up in 14th for the Sprint race on Saturday afternoon, Stroll didn’t hazard a guess at what might be possible.

“We’ll see what we can do,” he said.

“It’s gonna be tricky from P14 but there’s still opportunity.” recommends

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Fernando Alonso’s gloomy outlook for Saturday Sprint: Nothing is possible

The crash ended not only Stroll’s running, but Alonso’s too, as he was on an out-lap at the time the red flag was called, and with 29 seconds left on the clock, the FIA announced the session would not be resuming.

After a frustrating Friday qualy, Alonso would have hoped to improve, on what is his 42nd birthday and yet, he will start this afternoon’s Sprint from 15th on the grid.

“We didn’t even start a lap, so it was not the session for us,” he reflected afterward.

Asked whether it was too early to attempt a dry tyre lap, as Stroll had attempted, Alonso didn’t point the finger at his teammate.

“I don’t know,” he said.

“Obviously, it is difficult conditions, you need to take some decisions. We were on the risky side in Q2, me leaving the garage very late, and Lance trying the dry tyres.

“If it works, everything is fine. If it doesn’t work, there is a mistake, but no one has a crystal ball.”

But the Spaniard was certain that his fortunes won’t turn around in the race, as he summed up what he believes is possible in the Sprint from 15th on the grid: “Nothing. Nothing.”


Other drivers to pay the price as a result of Stroll’s crash were both Williams racers, along with AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo.