Stroll enjoys ‘maximum attack’ run to P8 with Vettel pleased to move on from ‘tough’ Styrian GP
After a series of race weekend setbacks, Lance Stroll was happy to put everything together at the Styrian Grand Prix, making Q3 before enjoying a "maximum attack" run to eighth place for Aston Martin at the chequered flag.
Stroll failed to make it out of Q1 at both Baku (where he crashed in the opening segment) and Paul Ricard (where a red flag prevented him setting a competitive lap time) – while he was running in the points in Azerbaijan when he suffered a tyre blowout.
But having been the only Aston Martin to make it to Q3 for the Styrian Grand Prix, Stroll then enjoyed a strong start from P9 on the grid, passing the Alpine of Fernando Alonso around the outside of Turn 6 and running as high as sixth early on – before the stronger Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc demoted him to P8 at the flag.
“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 today.
“The Ferraris seemed a bit too quick, so I don’t think we could have got much more out of it today,” added Stroll. “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.”
Stroll’s team mate Sebastian Vettel had been on a strong run of form heading into the Styrian Grand Prix, having scored 30 points in the previous three races. But after failing to make it out of Q2 and then spending the majority of the race stuck in a train of cars outside of the points before coming home P12, Vettel was already looking forward to the second Red Bull Ring race, the Austrian Grand Prix, in a week’s time.
“It was a tough race today,” said Vettel. “The midfield was very close and we were in the battle for points for the majority of the race. However, we spent a lot of time in traffic and I was struggling for grip towards the end.
“When everyone is so closely matched, these factors can really impact your race and the final result. It is always very easy to say we should have done things differently in hindsight.
“But we are focused on coming back stronger next weekend,” added Vettel. “The tyres are one step softer for the Austrian Grand Prix, for example, so there is plenty of preparation work ahead in the coming days.”