Aston Martin: A “great achievement” for Stroll to finish P9 in Canada after starting 16th

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Lance Stroll scored a ninth-place finish at his home race in Canada for Aston Martin.

The Canadian suffered a lacklustre qualifying, starting in P16 after an impeding penalty in a wet weather session. He struggled to find grip on Saturday afternoon and got knocked in Q2 as teammate Fernando Alonso put his AMR23 on the second row.

Stroll lost time during the Canadian Grand Prix due to Safety Cars but battled through the midfield to finish P9 and score two valuable championship points, including overtaking Bottas just before the line on the last lap.

Aston Martin has been suffering from Stroll’s subpar performances, sitting third in the standings 13 points behind Mercedes, despite Alonso scoring six podiums in eight races.

Team Principal Mike Krack praised the 24-year-old’s determined drive at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, despite being overshadowed by his team mate Fernando Alonso’s second-place finish.

“[In qualifying] he struggled with grip and if you struggle like that and you don’t have the confidence, then it is very difficult.

“And [in the race], I think he drove really well. We took him out of traffic and when he was out of traffic, he managed the lap times of the frontrunners on the hard.

“But if you are in this DRS train, it’s really hard to come from 16th to 9th, I think it’s a great achievement.

“Now on paper it looks only ninth and your team-mate finishes second, and you think it’s not a good performance. But, when you see where you come from, I think he was very good.”

Krack conceded that Stroll has to develop his speed in qualifying as overtaking is so difficult in Formula 1.

“[Qualifying] is key for everybody. You’ve seen other cars, also quick cars like Sergio [Perez], it’s hard to come back to the front,” Krack added.

“I think he will take the positives from here and with the races to come.

“We know he’s very strong in high-speed circuits and we will have a couple of such circuits to come, so I’m confident that we can score with both [cars].”

Stroll will be hoping to continue his run of points-scoring finishes next time out at Red Bull Ring in Austria, a track he’s yet to score a top-five finish at since his F1 debut in 2017.