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Lance Stroll

Stroll 'expected' Aston Martin pace struggles

Lance Stroll has admitted that Aston Martin knew ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix that competing with the frontrunners was unlikely.

Stroll race Bahrain
To news overview © XPBimages

Last weekend's 2024 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix was a frustrating one for Aston Martin, who had to settle for ninth and 10th at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Fernando Alonso started the race in sixth but quickly tumbled to ninth, whilst Lance Stroll put on a superb performance to recover from an opening lap collision. Stroll qualified in P12 and made a great start, although he was hit by Nico Hulkenberg at the first corner.

Stroll was very unfortunate to be hit by the Haas driver, which spun the Canadian round and demoted him to last. Scoring a point looked highly unlikely after that, although a solid strategy and some excellent tyre management by Stroll saw him recover to P10.

It was one of his strongest performances in recent times; however, he openly admits that the Bahrain GP was a very challenging one.

"Yeah, it was a tricky race for sure after getting hit on lap one" Stroll told select media including RacingNews365. "I did a really good start and gained a couple of positions off the line.

"And then I just got hit from behind in Turn 1, spun around [and fell to] dead last. But I think it was a long race from there, so I just managed my tyres well and the team gave me a good strategy. Overtook two cars on-track, and yeah, it's nice to pick up a point."

'We want to be in front'

Despite Alonso's one-lap pace having been amongst Mercedes and McLaren in particular, both sides as well as Ferrari and Red Bull were just too strong when it came to race pace.

Typically, Aston Martin have looked more competitive in race trim than in qualifying, yet this wasn't the case in Bahrain. The Silverstone-based outfit expected to be slower than their rivals in race trim, although their goal is to eventually get ahead of them.

"Yeah, I mean, it's difficult," Stroll admitted. "We have to analyse everything and go through it. We kind of expected the other teams to be a bit quicker today, just looking at the Friday pace of Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull.

"Obviously they looked to be a bit quicker. So it wasn't anything unexpected today but we want to be in front of them."

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