Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll will be extremely satisfied with their performances and results at the Bahrain GP, which confirmed the speed AMR23’s speed.
There were plenty of reports during the winter break and pre-season testing that expressed confidence in Aston Martin’s potential, and this expectation has been met.
After showing tremendous space during testing and free practice, Fernando Alonso converted this early promise into a podium finish for Aston Martin F1 in his debut with the team.
Lance Stroll, meanwhile, surpassed expectations to finish in a very impressive P6 – despite missing out on testing and dealing with a wrist injury.
At one stage, the Canadian driver was not expecting to compete in Bahrain, with his injuries initially given until Baku or Australia to recover.
Therefore, given the circumstances, securing such strong points and demonstrating competitive pace is a fantastic result for Stroll.
The 24-year-old will have just under two weeks to continue his recovery before the upcoming Saudi Arabia GP, where he will no doubt be more prepared after completing a race distance.
Despite the contact between the two Aston Martin drivers on the first lap in Bahrain – which was ultimately inconsequential – Alonso and Stroll are working very well together.
Alonso praised Stroll during the winter break and – during testing – expressed how significant a blow it was for the team to miss out on his teammate’s feedback.
In some ways, this is no surprise, with Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso enjoying a good relationship for several years.
Both drivers congratulated each other post-race in Sakhir, but Stroll provided an especially interesting moment in one of Alonso’s interviews in the media pen.
The Canadian interrupted Alonso’s interview with Viaplay to congratulate him – whilst also poking fun at the nature of his departure from Alpine:
“Yes, man! You’re happy no? You’re happy you’re not in Alpine, haha. Happy that you’re in the green car now!”
Despite the playful nature of this comment, this has certainly emerged as one of the key talking points from Bahrain.
Alonso’s move to Aston Martin was initially described by most as a poor decision, owing to the British squad’s pace deficit to Alpine at the time.
Alonso has even admitted that the performance of the AMR23 has pleasantly surprised him this year, surpassing his initial expectations for 2023.
Ironically, it was Alpine’s decision not to offer a multi-year deal that emboldened Alonso to enter talks with Aston Martin.
Despite facing plenty of criticism throughout the paddock last year, Fernando Alonso is now enjoying the rewards for his belief in the Silverstone-based team.