Stroll says ‘smart’ Aston made its own luck in Q3


Lance Stroll says Aston Martin “made its own luck” in Saturday’s qualifying shootout in Sao Paulo where the Canadian and teammate Fernando Alonso locked out the second row for Sunday’s race.

Minutes before the final segment of qualifying kicked off, dark clouds started to roll in over Interlagos. It was an ominous sign for Aston Martin who immediately sent its drivers out onto the pitlane to ensure their position at the head of the queue in a bid to get an early banker lap in.

The smart call worked to perfection, with Stroll out-qualifying Alonso while their rivals struggled for grip in the worsening conditions.

In the end, only Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc succeeded in outpacing the Aston duo.

Asked if Team Silverstone had lucked into its P3 and P4 qualifying positions, Stroll said the team had actually been smart.

"I don't think we were lucky today, I think we made our own luck," quipped the Canadian who enjoyed by his best qualifying performance since his pole position in Turkey in 2020.

"I think we did well going to the front of the queue and getting good track position. And, yeah, the weather was coming in, so I think that was smart."

The changing conditions in the session had seen the wind switch directions. From a tail-wind down the main straight, drivers were suddenly faced with a head wind that upset their car’s balance and impacted lap times relative to Q1 and Q2.

However, Stroll reckons that Aston’s AMR23 was less affected by the sudden change.

"I still really felt crap in the car, it was really tricky in Q3 and the wind changed direction, so it was still really tough,” he explained.

“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 at giving us an attempt 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."

Aston Martin’s solid performance at Interlagos follows a series of low-key races, including last weekend’s dismal Mexican Grand Prix where neither car reached Q2.

Stroll was delighted with the turn-around which he felt was in part track-related.

"We were competitive and I was feeling good in the car, so it was definitely a much better day for us than we've had in a while. Mexico is a tough track for everyone, high altitude and low grip," he said.

"The balance was good all day, I felt good grip in the car, and that's when you can keep improving, tidy things up, and keep it clean."

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