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Why De la Rosa thinks Stroll is 'underrated'

Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll will lead Aston Martin's challenge in 2023, and newly-appointed Team Ambassador Pedro de la Rosa says he is looking forward to working with the pair.

Former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa has hailed Aston Martin’s 2023 driver line-up of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll, adding that he feels Stroll is an underrated driver within the F1 paddock. Now into his sixth season in F1, Stroll has been outscored by teammates in all but one year since his debut in 2017, and his move from Williams to the then-Racing Point team in 2019 owed much to his father Lawrence Stroll having bought the cash-strapped outfit from previous owner Vijay Mallya. However, before graduating to F1, Stroll had won Italian F4, Toyota Racing Series and FIA F3 European championships in consecutive years, and de la Rosa highlighted several areas this year in which he believes the Canadian has impressed. "I think Lance is underrated," said de la Rosa, who earlier this week was announced as Aston Martin's Team Ambassador. "Look at his career. He's won in every junior formula before getting to Formula 1. How many drivers can say that? "I think [Stroll and Alonso] have a lot in common, in the sense that they are extremely good starters, and the first lap performance of both of them is impressive. "Look at Lance's start [at the Japanese Grand Prix] in Suzuka last week. It's amazing the start he did, overtaking Valtteri [Bottas]. "They are very committed drivers, that's the common denominator, and Lance is extremely quick and, to an extent, in some type of corners is one of the fastest.

De la Rosa explains why Stroll and Alonso will work well together

De la Rosa, who drove in 104 Grands Prix between 1999 and 2012, added that he had been especially impressed with Stroll's speed through the middle sector of the challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit earlier this year. "I was looking back during the summer in Spa [comparing] the telemetry between drivers, and it stood out that the only driver who was completely flat through Pouhon was Lance. "I was very, very impressed with that. We all know how difficult that corner is and how much it takes to be flat in qualifying there." The Spaniard added that he believed Alonso and Stroll would work well together and push each other on. "I'm looking forward to working with them," said de la Rosa. "One is 23 years old and the other is 41, so I think that the combination will be fantastic. "I think Fernando will work very well with Lance, because there is this age gap and Fernando is so mature now, so they will help each other to become stronger as teammates."

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