RACE DEBRIEF

    Lance Stroll hailed a “great team effort” from Aston Martin at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after their double points finish almost saw them overhaul Alfa Romeo for P6 in the constructors’ standings.

    Aston Martin headed into the Yas Marina season finale with a five-point deficit to their main rivals, before Lance Stroll’s eighth-place finish and Sebastian Vettel’s farewell run to P10 wiped that out.

    However, given Valtteri Bottas’s fifth-place finish at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo claimed sixth position on countback – leaving Stroll, and the rest of his team, with mixed emotions.

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    “We had a competitive race with a good strategy to round out the year. I am happy with the performance and the result: it was a great team effort,” Stroll said of his Abu Dhabi race.

    “It was a shame not to pass Alfa Romeo in the constructors' World Championship at the end. We gave it everything we could as the races ticked by and we were so close to jumping them.”

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    Alfa Romeo narrowly had the measure of Aston Martin

    Despite the disappointment of missing out on P6, Stroll believes Aston Martin’s season serves as “good preparation”, with the team – who evolved from the Racing Point operation in 2021 – working through their five-year plan to reach the front of the grid.

    “The team here at the track and back at Silverstone did a really good job throughout the year to help us get much more out of the car in the second half of the season,” the Canadian continued.

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    “We were able to fight for points on a much more regular basis recently and that progress is a good preparation for next year.”

    Stroll ended the season 15th in the drivers’ standings on 18 points, three spots and 19 points behind retiring team mate Vettel, who will be replaced by Fernando Alonso for the 2023 season.