Alonso calls making Lawrence Stroll’s double podium dream a reality in Montreal ‘an aggressive target’ for Aston Martin
While this isn’t a home race for the Silverstone-based Aston Martin team, it very much is for their owner Lawrence Stroll. The Canadian has set his drivers the goal of achieving a double podium finish for the first time this season, something Fernando Alonso knows is likely to be a stiff ask.
The Spaniard was on an impressive podium streak earlier this year, his charge somewhat derailed in Barcelona at a track that didn’t suit the AMR23. But he expects that to change here, especially given the team have brought upgrades to this circuit.
“I think it should be a good weekend but you never know until you hit the track,” Alonso said. “We also had expectations in Barcelona and we didn’t perform in that race. Let’s see. We have a couple of new parts on the car as well at this race. Depending on the weather, we will try to test them and validate them and hopefully can be a little bit more competitive than Barcelona.”
Alonso does know what it takes to win here, although that was all the way back in 2006, one of his championship winning years for Renault. But he did feel confident that his experience may be an advantage at a track that is notoriously tricky to get right – especially if it rains.
“[Here you] need to have obviously confidence in the car,” he said. “It’s a semi-street circuit, you get very close to the walls, you need to ride the kerbs as well. It’s a very bumpy circuit. Weather normally plays a big factor here as it will do again this weekend. Experience always helps – this is the 17th or 18th Canadian Grand Prix [for me] so that always helps.”
As for Lawrence Stroll’s double podium wish, something Alonso called “an aggressive target”, the Spaniard certainly wasn’t ruling it out, despite the feat only having been acheived by Red Bull and Mercedes this season.
“The ambition of [Lawrence Stroll] is super high always and we will try to make him happy and proud in the home Grand Prix.”
Speaking of Stroll, his son would need to chase down a first podium of the year to meet his Father’s target – a tough ask but one he seemed very much up for before the weekend began.
“Let’s try and make him happy and make it happen!” said Stroll, who's enjoyed a best finish of ninth at his home race – and goes in search of becoming the first Canadian since Jacques Villeneuve in 1996 to stand on the Montreal podium.