Stroll on bridging the speed gap to Alonso: ‘I have some ideas’


Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll says he’s determined to bounce back from a difficult 2023 campaign, insisting he has “some ideas” on how to bridge the gap to teammate Fernando Alonso.

Stroll was comprehensively dominated by Alonso from beginning to end last year, the Canadian failing to deliver a single podium to Aston Martin while his teammate score eight top-three finishes.

While not shying away from self-improvement, Stroll also points to challenges beyond his control that hampered his performance.

A pre-season cycling accident forced him to miss crucial testing, putting him on the back foot from the start. While he worked tirelessly to catch up, Alonso, who seamlessly integrated with the team, was already racking up podium finishes.

Technical gremlins further hindered Stroll's progress, robbing him of precious practice time and crucial points in races.

However, while he emphasized the impact of these setbacks, he also acknowledged Alonso’s superior pace.

"He was just quicker. So I have some ideas on where to work on, some things that I want to improve on, for sure, in that regard,” Stroll explained.

"And also, I don't like to use the word luck, but I think we had a lot of misfortune last year and I think that kind of made things more challenging.

"When we were fighting for good positions last year, there were a lot of races where we had technical issues. We had things just didn't go our way. So we want to just build on last year."

The 25-year-old who is on the eve of his eighth season in F1 outlined his approach to improvement and the areas that have required his attention.

"It's reflecting on normal stuff on what I want from the car," he said. "How I feel like I can be a better driver, in what areas I can improve on. That kind of stuff.

"And also just come back physically a little bit stronger, and think about some of the races where I felt physically I could have been stronger.

"Those kinds of things, just the usual stuff. And then, every year it's a new year. So going into this year I learn, I evolve, I think about what I can do better, how I can be better.

"But then also just like take on the year and see what happens. Every year is a very different year in F1.

"It depends a lot on where the car is at. It depends a lot on many factors.

“But I would like to see us definitely fight for some big results this year, score a lot of points, fight for podiums. And a win in green would be nice."

On Monday at Silverstone, Stroll had the privilege of giving Aston’s AMR24 its track debut. And he was satisfied with his initial impression of the new car, expressing his confidence that the team has been able to iron out the weaknesses embedded in its predecessor.

"I'm very excited about the 2024 car," he said. "I think we're trying to really build on last year's car. We had a strong car last year, definitely, opening up the season.

"We came out really strong. Some weaknesses in the car, at certain tracks. Some of those weaknesses were exposed, and we struggled a lot more as a team.

"This year the whole factory's been working really, really hard on building from last year, improving some of the weaknesses and also building on the strengths of last year's car."

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