Lance Stroll shed some light on his relationship with his Aston Martin teammate, Fernando Alonso, revealing that, at the age of 12, the Canadian was a fanboy of the Spaniard.
Alonso replaced Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin at the start of the 2023 Formula 1 season, and with an impressive Green Car put at his disposal, the AMR23, the double F1 Champion has since delivered four podiums for the team over the first five races.
Stroll in the other hand started his season on the back foot, after suffering injuries due to a cycling accident ahead of the season, meaning he missed pre-season testing in Bahrain, while having to drive the first two races still not fully recovered.
However, Stroll has not stepped up yet, and has been comprehensibly beaten by Alonso, while his best race result was fourth at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix.
Being the son of Aston Martin Chairman Lawrence Stroll, the 24-year-old has his position within the team secured, and when the new of Alonso’s joining announced, many wondered how the team dynamic would be between the pair.
Alonso is known for his dominating character within a team, and not always being a team player, and any hint of preferential treatment for Stroll would no go down with him, but his current upper hand in the Aston Martin intra-team battle means the British team did not need to make any difficult decisions just yet, while Alonso has shown some brotherly treatment for Stroll, advising him on brake balance in Baku (after which Stroll spun by the way) and also commending him for a nice pass in Miami having watched it on the screens while racing!
A long time since Stroll’s last podium
Stroll was acquainted with Alonso since he was 12, and reflecting on their relationship; he said: “I wouldn’t say we had a relationship back when I was 12. I was just a fanboy. But yeah, there’s a great dynamic in the team at the moment.
Quoted by F1’s Official Website, Stroll continued: “I definitely enjoy working alongside him. He’s incredibly talented, knowledgeable, experienced, and hungry to get the most out of himself every day. I have a huge amount of respect for him, because he’s been doing that for a long time.
“He’s been at the top of his game for… how many years has he been in F1 now? Like, I don’t know, more than 20 years? So, I think just to see that determination and focus and motivation every day, I have a lot of respect for that.
“And, yeah, we have a great synergy in the team and the car’s been really nice to drive. I think we’ve been having a great relationship, and the sense that we’re both trying to get more out of the car, every weekend.
“As a team, collectively, just trying to come up with more ideas, and just better ideas and how to improve the setup, make it even better. I think that dynamic has been really good,” Stroll insisted.
While Alonso has been on a streak, Stroll’s last visit to an F1 podium dates back to 2020, when he took third place in the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, and with a competitive car as the AMR23, how long would it be before the #18 Aston Martin finishes in the top three?
“Yeah, it is a long time ago,” Stroll responded when his distant last podium was brought to his attention.
“I mean, you know, I definitely want to be on the podium. But I’m just going to keep driving my car as fast as I can and, if it happens, then it happens and great. My job behind the wheel stays the same,” he concluded.
Alonso is currently third in the 2023 Drivers’ Championship, Stroll is eighth.