Stroll praises ‘great recovery’ after rising to P5 from P19 in Las Vegas as Alonso celebrates double-points finish for Aston Martin
Lance Stroll was satisfied with a strong drive in the Las Vegas Grand Prix after climbing from the back of the field to finish P5, securing a double-points finish for Aston Martin with team mate Fernando Alonso.
The Canadian’s weekend prior to race day at the Las Vegas Strip Circuit had not gone entirely smoothly, having been hit with a five-place grid penalty for overtaking under yellow flags during a practice session. This dropped him down the order from his original qualifying position of P14 to P19.
Despite this, Stroll’s impressive first lap of the Grand Prix saw him surge into the top 10. He also gained by making a pit stop when the Safety Car was deployed to clear up debris from a collision between Max Verstappen and George Russell on Lap 25 of 50.
Stroll ultimately crossed the line in sixth, but was promoted to fifth due to fourth-placed Russell receiving a five-second time penalty for the contact with Verstappen.
When asked if he was happy with the outcome of his race, Stroll responded: “Yeah, for sure. The race did come through as [we had] a good first lap, good strategy and great recovery.”
With Aston Martin having struggled to replicate their early-season form at times in the latter half of the year, Stroll acknowledged that it was fun to compete at the sharp end again, adding: “The car was feeling good today and we had good pace throughout the race.”
Meanwhile it was an eventful evening for Alonso, who suffered a spin on the opening lap before managing to get back in the mix due to the deployment of the Safety Car, which made an appearance following a crash for Lando Norris on Lap 4.
The Spaniard ended the event in P9 and was relieved to come away with points following his challenging start to the race.
“I thought it was over after corner one but, thanks to the Safety Car, I rejoined the group at the back and we could race from there and scored points, especially with both cars – great result from Lance,” said Alonso. “I think that gave us some good energy into the last race.”
A double-points finish has bolstered Aston Martin’s chances of fighting for P4 in the constructors’ championship during the upcoming season finale in Abu Dhabi. While McLaren currently hold the position, their advantage has now been cut to just 11 points.
Pushed on whether the battle for fourth is still on, Alonso responded: “Yeah, we thought that it was over also that fight, and now the last few events we were outscoring them, and maybe that has added a bit of hope into Abu Dhabi. But let’s try to do our race and whatever becomes at the end we will take it.”
There also remains a potential scrap in the drivers’ standings, with Alonso currently tied on 200 points with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the duel for fifth, while Norris is only five points behind them in sixth.