Aston Martin drivers “happy” with “good points in the pocket” in Austria sprint race

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The Styrian hills saw variable weather conditions during the Sprint, which created an action-packed session full of changes. Alonso qualified seventh and Stroll eighth in the Sprint Shootout; following Charles Leclerc’s penalty, they were promoted by one position each.

The Sprint began in wet conditions, and Intermediates were the chosen tyres by both of them. Stroll proceeded to gain a place over Alonso on the opening lap. As the rain subsided, neither driver pitted for slick tyres after passing Hulkenberg.

The end of the race saw the two-time World Champion fighting to gain position over his teammate, but Stroll ended up fourth, four-tenths ahead of Alonso. If the race had been a lap longer, both drivers would have been passed by the German in the Haas as he came steaming back through the pack on his dry tyres.

Following the race, the Canadian driver praised the strategy call that left him on intermediates:

“We had a strong race today in Austria, and I was pleased with my opening lap. The focus was on managing our tyres through the drying track conditions; the team made a good call with the strategy and judged that well. Fourth and fifth is a strong result, and we’ll race hard again tomorrow.”

The nine points scored by Aston Martin today has moved them to within 13 points of Mercedes.

On his fight towards with his younger teammate in the closing laps as DRS got enabled, Alonso said:

“It was close but happy with the overall points; I think three points more than Ferrari, 8 points more than Mercedes, so good Saturday for us.”

On the pace of the car and his expectations for Sunday, he added: “I think it was a difficult race, for sure, since we had to make decisions on the grid, not knowing the track conditions and things like that, so I think all in all as I said good points in the pocket and hopefully more tomorrow.”

“Hopefully, we can score more tomorrow. The weather should be better, but we start seventh, so we’ll see what we can manage and aim for a top-five finish.”

Photo credit: Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team