The Brazilian GP, in addition to having a wonderful track, also gave us unexpected surprises. After the disastrous defeat in Mexico, with double retirement for the two cars, Aston Martin returns triumphant. With an unexpected Lance Stroll qualifying with third place, they managed to achieve a P3 and a P5 in the race. But let’s see in detail what happened.
Lance Stroll’s unexpected P3 in qualifying
The Aston Martin driver, Lance Stroll, has never shone in 2023, especially in comparison with his teammate, Fernando Alonso. Yet something unexpected happened in Interlagos. Lately there have been bad rumors about Lance Stroll, among many that of seeing him out of Formula One. Yet his achievement of P3 in these qualifications put all the bad rumors to rest.
The suspicion of rain and the arrival of the storm were the main concerns of the teams and drivers. Yet this didn’t stop Lance Stroll from taking third place and getting onto the podium. The statistics were not in favor of the Canadian driver. He qualified 3rd on a circuit where he had not achieved more than a 15th place and had been eliminated in Q1 4 out of 5 times.
A season of ups and downs for Aston Martin
Aston Martin started the first championship race in Bahrain with great expectations, given the promises and excellent results obtained. This had encouraged the English team to finally be able to fight with an excellent car. Yet over the course of the season, this dream dissolved. In fact, the English team saw a deterioration in performance, bringing home rather poor results. Because of this, we tried to find a mix of updates that could help the car find the right balance.
The latest updates of Aston Martin
In view of the Brazilian GP, and the poor results obtained in Mexico, the English team tried to mix and match updates. Neither driver was particularly happy with the balance of the car. And matters weren’t helped by the team being hit by brake problems in FP1 at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas that ultimately derailed its weekend there. But ahead of a sprint race in Brazil, there’s little time to sort out parts or set-up. And for this very reason, the team tried to mix old and new updates.
Fernando Alonso’s masterful defense in the match
Although his teammate gave us a fantastic surprise, Alonso made us dream during the race. The two time World Champion and Sergio Perez dueled throughout the final stint and were separated by just 0.053 seconds at the checkered flag. This final battle brightened a race that had by then become boring and monotonous. After the red flag, there was a very calm restart.
Aside from Stroll losing a couple of positions, Alonso had a strong enough exit from the Curva do Sol to put pressure on Hamilton. So he managed to send his Aston Martin inside to Descida do Lago and move into the top three. Further ahead, Alonso had to defend himself from an advancing Perez. Here, however, with incredible defense he managed to cross the finish line by just 53 thousandths. Suspense until the last second!
Fernando Alonso, the man who runs faster than time
He was the focus of several rumors. Many saw him as already retired either because he was too ‘old’ or because he doesn’t have a team capable of giving him a competitive car. Yet he, for the umpteenth time, silenced everyone. Alonso doesn’t know what giving up means. At the age of 42, he is still hungry for victory. And he demonstrated it on this track, with his consistency and determination. His lesson at Interlagos was a true master’s lesson. On how to defend yourself until the last moment.
He played with the trajectories, calculated ways and times. All to steal the podium from Perez with cunning. In a driver like Alonso, age matters very little. Driven by an unstoppable hunger he is willing to prove that he is one of the best on the grid. If he had a competitive car, he would easily be able to fight for the world championship. And he demonstrated it in this race, with cunning and speed.