Alonso reveals what 'outstanding' Stroll needs to do to be 'fighting for the top 5'
Fernando Alonso has heaped praise on his current Aston Martin team mate Lance Stroll, lauding the at times “outstanding” performances of the Canadian. The Spanish star also revealed what he feels Stroll needs to do join him in the fight for podiums on a consistent basis.
Stroll endured a tricky start to the year, fracturing his wrists in a pre-season cycling accident that was still affecting him as he lined up on the grid for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. That has doubtless played a part in Stroll failing to hit the highs of his two-time champion team mate in an AMR23 machine that’s one of the strongest cars in the field.
Alonso has now taken six podiums and 117 points this year, compared to Stroll’s 37 points and best finish of P4. And speaking ahead of that sixth podium in Montreal, Alonso was asked what Stroll needed to do “to improve” and become a “star in the sport”.
“I know Lance from 2012 – actually, I met him here [in Montreal] in one of the Ferrari events, when he was in the [Ferrari Driver] Academy,” said Alonso, who took P2 in Montreal as Stroll recovered from P16 to P9 at the flag.
“I think Lance is showing the speed in the car, the commitment. We saw at the beginning of the year as well, racing with a broken hand and things like that; you only see [this] when you really have passion for something that you're doing.”
Alonso went on to praise the “sparks of Lance” that F1 fans have witnessed over the years, the Canadian having become the second-youngest ever podium finisher at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – before claiming two more rostrums in 2020 – as well as scoring a maiden pole position in tough conditions at the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix.
“I think we saw many times in the past sparks of Lance, in wet qualifying, in races, at the starts, Lap 1 performance, these kinds of things that are outstanding," said Alonso.
“And then, some other weekends that the result was not coming, or you get in a bad loop in qualifying, so something like that, and then the weekend is a little bit compromised.
“I think, for him, the most important thing now is to get the consistency, weekend after weekend... That consistency is going to be the next step in his career, to be constantly fighting for the top five and then at the end of the year, you see the amount of points that you gain when you get all the weekends right.
“But as I said,” Alonso concluded, “with the motivation, the commitment that he has, and the team that Aston Martin is building now, I think it's a matter of time that this will come.”
Aston Martin currently sit P3 in the constructors’ standings, just 13 points adrift of rivals Mercedes – with Red Bull a full 154 points in front of the (black-liveried) Silver Arrows.
Aston Martin sit 13 points behind Mercedes
|1 Red Bull Racing||321|
|3 Aston Martin||154|
|7 Alfa Romeo||9|
|8 Haas F1 Team||8|