Lance Stroll says his move on Fernando Alonso on Lap 1 of F1 Styrian GP set his race up to score valuable points in their fight.
After some low-key runs for Aston Martin’s Stroll, the Canadian came alive in F1 Styrian GP, qualifying inside the Top 10. He made a solid start in the grand prix, where he cleared Alpine’s Alonso, going around the outside of the Spaniard in the left-hander.
Overtaking Alonso is not an easy task but Stroll hung on with him and made the move stick despite the dirty air from the back of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the corner – Sky F1’s Anthondy Davidson described it as a the move of the race. That set his race up, where he managed to finish eighth in the end, to score some valuable points.
The strategy was such that he lost out to both Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Leclerc in the end, but he managed to keep Alonso and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda behind. “It was a good first lap,” said Stroll. “I overtook Fernando around the outside and that really set us up for a good rest of the race.
“From there it was just maximum attack and happy to pick up some points for the team. The Ferraris seemed a bit too quick, so I don’t think we could have got much more out of it. We tried to hold off Carlos and Charles but they had strong pace in the final part of the race and a tyre advantage. So P8 is a good result and we can be happy with a positive weekend from the very first lap on Friday,” summed up Stroll.
While Stroll had a good run, teammate Sebastian Vettel suffered to end up outside the points. For Alonso, he had to fight off Tsunoda in the end, which he managed to do so and score points again, especially, at a time when teammate Esteban Ocon is suffering.
“I felt good, I felt we know our strengths and we know our weaknesses so we tried to use them in different places, I don’t think Austria is our best circuit as we saw in qualifying and as we saw in the race,” said Alonso. “Unfortunately we have two races here so we have to manage the damage that we can have in terms of points, I think we managed the damage very well in race one because we scored one more point than AlphaTauri and two less than Aston Martin, so we managed to limit this damage.
“In race two I think it is going to be another challenging weekend, we will try to do better but it is going to be difficult. I think this is our limit, I honestly feel I was maximising everything being in Q3 and maximising being in the points, I don’t think there is much more. We would need some retirements or luck, it was a very flat race, no retirements and no safety cars, nothing happened so ninth is what you get,” summed up Alonso.
With regards to the fight with Stroll and other F1 teams, who seemed a bit faster, Alonso added: “It was, for Stroll, I don’t know, maybe we missed a little but of top speed to be able to really get close on the straights and have the DRS. But it was very close, I think we were very, very close in terms of performance with Aston Martin.
“As I said, all the other teams were faster than us by a long way so I don’t think we could fight with them. We saw Leclerc having a puncture in lap one or front wing damage and still finish in front of us. So imagine the superiority they have in terms of performance.”
Here’s the video of Lance Stroll onboard of move (beyond 45 second): https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-styrian-grand-prix-first-lap-onboards.1703817160180047199.html
Here’s what Fernando Alonso said about Williams and George Russell