Fernando Alonso is hoping to turn around Aston Martin's recent string of Did Not Finish (DNF) results in Austin and Mexico with a more competitive performance at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Lance Stroll is aiming for a podium finish after qualifying in third place, while Fernando Alonso, who will start from fourth, has stressed the importance of a successful race weekend for the team. On Saturday, Interlagos will host the season-ending Sprint for the 2023 season. Friday only saw one practice session, as the qualifying was spoiled by last-minute rain that prevented many teams, including McLaren and Mercedes, from posting competitive times.
Stroll finished in sixth place during the initial practice session (FP1), demonstrating that Aston Martin showed good speed on the opening day. He took this form into qualifying, finishing in sixth position after the first round and later advancing to the second round in tenth place by the slimmest of margins. Stroll qualified third with a time of 1 minute, 11.344 seconds in the pivotal Q3 session, which was cut short by rain. Even though he finished over six-tenths of a second behind Max Verstappen, who secured pole position, this marked his first top-three start since the Turkish Grand Prix in 2020.
F1 Brazilian Grand Prix: McLaren to be Strong on Sunday
Lance Stroll said, ‘Yeah, we are aiming for a podium. I think it’s going to be tricky though, I don’t think we have the third quickest car. The McLarens are going to be quick on Sunday. We were fortunate with the rain that came in, so we got our lap in early. I don’t think everyone got their laps in. I’m sure Sergio Perez is going to be coming through the field, the McLarens, but we will see what we can do.’
Fernando Alonso said, 'I think, the last two Grand Prix, we were a little bit experimenting, and we were starting from the pit lane, all these kinds of things, and we needed a nice result here in Brazil or both cars to give some hope to the team. It just proves that we understood a few things, and we were quite competitive. So, this proves we know what we are doing, and I am happy with that.'
F1 Brazilian Grand Prix: Aston Martin Recent Struggle
Despite a strong start to the season, Aston Martin has since struggled with several issues in the second half of the year. Fernando Alonso started the previous race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez from the 13th position on the grid, but he encountered difficulties during the race and was forced to retire on Lap 47, owing to damage from debris on the course.
Alonso also had a trying weekend at the U.S. Grand Prix, where he was eliminated from Q1 for the first time this season. He and teammate Lance Stroll started the race from the pits, and although they moved up through the pack, Alonso's car had to be retired because of a late pit stop.
Alonso is hopeful that he can put these recent setbacks behind him and have a better weekend in Brazil.