Stroll “confident we have good car pace” after Q1 gamble backfires

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It was a Saturday of mixed fortunes for Aston Martin. While Fernando Alonso put his AMR23 on the front row for today’s Miami Grand Prix, Lance Stroll dropped out in the first part of qualifying.

Photo credit: Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team

Between the drivers and team, they look the decision to only use a single set of tyres in Q1.

That backfired as massive track evolution + new tyres for other teams and drivers saw Stroll fall to P18 in the end. Fernando Alonso was P12 and only made it through by 0.215s in the other car.

“We just tried to go through on one set, thinking it was enough, but in hindsight, yeah…” said Stroll post-qualifying. “I mean, the new set of tyres that everyone put on at the end was like one second track improvement, so that’s what we missed.”

Stroll was not shocked by the track evolution. Ultimately it was the wrong call to stay on the same of tyres throughout the whole session.

“No, not really [surprised]. I knew it was going to be big, maybe not that big, but I thought the plan was like we’d both try and get through on one set. The other car just scraped through and we missed it by a tenth, I think, so yeah.

“It’s always easy in hindsight, but it could have worked out and would have give us another set for Q2, which is always really helpful, so yeah, that was the idea.”

The Canadian driver said it was a joint decision on the tyre call and refused to blame the team for the early exit yesterday afternoon.

“No, but it’s not a team thing. It’s us and the team, you know. We believed we had good car pace. The other car did get through on one set, so it was possible.”

In spite of starting in P18, the difficulties in overtaking other cars in 2023 and driving one of the more draggy cars this season, Stroll remains hopeful that he can work his way through with the strong pace and low tyre degradation the AMR23 provides.

“Yeah, I think it’s going to be a long race tomorrow. I’m confident we have good car pace.”