Lance Stroll says there is a lot of potential with the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team, although they go into the new Formula 1 season not having shown their full potential during pre-season testing.
The Aston Martin name returns to the Formula 1 grid for the first time since the 1960s this weekend, with Stroll being joined by four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel in the driver line-up.
Stroll says the team are continuing to grow, but there is still a lot of learning to do to understand how to operate at the highest possible level.
“The arrival of Aston Martin underlines all the potential in this team; it’s a very exciting moment for us all,” said Stroll, who took two podium finishes with the team in 2020 when they were known as the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team.
“We’re continuing to develop as an organisation – that means we’ll have more people and more resources to understand the car and how it operates; but we’re still understanding how the team is growing.”
Stroll says Aston Martin were not able to show their full potential during the pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit last week, but he feels there is pace to come, hopefully as soon as this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
“I don’t think we were able to show our full potential during the Bahrain test, so there’s definitely more performance to come during these opening races, which is exciting,” he said.
“It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve in these first few races” – Sebastian Vettel
Team-mate Vettel says the opening few races of the season will be a learning curve for him, particularly after losing some important running during testing due to technical issues on the AMR21.
Vettel, who has joined Aston Martin after six years with Scuderia Ferrari, says he is excited to get on track for his first race weekend with his new team, but there is still plenty of things for him to learn and adapt to before he feels truly at home in the car.
“It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve in these first few races: for me, it’s a new team – I’m still getting to know everyone, still understanding how the AMR21 wants to be driven, and familiarising myself with the team,” said Vettel.
“I’m very excited to be at the start of that journey in Bahrain this weekend. The conditions were very interesting during testing – high winds made it quite tricky to drive – and we know that tyre degradation is always a key factor here. It should make for an exciting race.”