Lance Stroll revealed he ‘felt like crap’ in his Aston Martin as he qualified third for the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix, a major comeback for the team just two weeks after both Stroll and Fernando Alonso were dumped out of Q1.
The pair qualified 19th and 17th for the United States GP but locked out the second row of the grid in Interlagos, and the team could even overhaul their 20-point gap to McLaren in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship.
Aston Martin brought upgrades to the Americas triple-header that started in Austin but they haven’t proved as successful as hoped, with Stroll saying their headline result in Brazil was down to a tactical masterstroke from the pit wall.
“I guess time will tell if we can build on today and keep up this form in other places,” Stroll told the media. “I definitely don’t think we were lucky today, I think we made our own luck going to the front of the [Q3] queue and getting good track position.
“The weather was coming in so I think that was smart but I still really felt like crap in the car. It was really tricky in Q3, the wind changed direction so it was still really tough but I think we did a good job getting both cars, me and Fernando at the front of the queue.”
“The team did a good job of giving us an attempt at the front of the queue before the bad weather came in, and it looks like a lot of guys missed their laps or didn’t get them in for whatever reason so think we made our own luck today.”
Stroll hails one giant leap for Aston Martin
Polesitter Max Verstappen and the Mercedes – who locked out the third row of the grid – were the other teams hustling to get across the line as quickly as possible, while McLaren made an operational error in qualifying for the second week in a row.
Oscar Piastri was last in the line heading out of the pitlane and failed to set a time in Q3 as he slid off at Juncao in rapidly worsening conditions. Three other drivers were more than a second off Verstappen‘s time.
“I don’t think we’re third on paper, other conditions and stuff in Q3 were a little funny and we managed to execute well, that’s for sure,” Stroll added.
“But it’s still a huge step from Mexico and Austin. We had a good race in Austin but Friday and Saturday were difficult. So today’s definitely the best quality and pace we’ve had in a long time. But we’ll see we can do in the race, the points are on Sunday.”