Lance Stroll enjoyed his Friday at the Losail International Circuit, even though his morning session in Qatar was heavily affected by a hydraulics issue that left him stuck in the pits for much of the hour.
The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team driver only completed eleven laps in the first session, but he was happy with the progress shown in the afternoon as he racked up twenty-six laps and finished an encouraging sixth fastest.
Stroll says his aim is to break into the top ten in Qualifying on Saturday afternoon, and he believes Aston Martin will also have strong pace when it matters on Sunday.
“The track has a very good flow and that makes it very enjoyable,” said Stroll. “I had a lot of fun today.
“The hydraulics issue we experienced in FP1 did not cost us too much track time and for the second session the car felt really good. Saturday is another day but I have high hopes for a competitive weekend.
“Progressing through to Q3 is definitely the objective. If we can qualify well, I think we will be strong in the race too.”
“I was not so happy with our pace over one lap” – Sebastian Vettel
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel does not feel he got everything he could out of his single-lap performance during Friday’s running in Qatar, but he hopes he will in Saturday’s Qualifying session as he expects overtaking to be difficult.
The German ended twelfth fastest in the morning session around a track he found ‘fun’ to drive, while he ended ninth fastest in the afternoon, confirming the pace Aston Martin seem to have this weekend.
However, the four-time World Champion does not expect everyone to get a clean run during Saturday’s Qualifying hour, but he hopes he is one of the ones who does in order to put himself into points contention for Sunday’s race.
“Today was OK from my perspective, but at this stage it is difficult to understand where we are because everyone is still getting to grips with the track,” said Vettel. “It takes some time to focus and find your rhythm, but overall this is a very fun circuit to drive.
“I was not so happy with our pace over one lap and traffic made it difficult to get clean laps, but we have some time in FP3 to work on that further. Tomorrow, everyone will be aiming for the perfect lap in qualifying, but only some will achieve it.
“I am hoping to be one of them because, with it being so difficult to overtake, securing a good position on the grid will play a major part in our final result.”