Lance Stroll made a one-stop strategy work to his advantage during Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix, with the Canadian gaining six places from his starting position to claim sixth place at the Losail International Circuit.
The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team driver made up a couple of places on the opening lap and was able to pass Yuki Tsunoda on track before jumping Carlos Sainz Jr. in the pit stops. He then moved up two spots following the punctures to both Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris.
He finished on the tail of Alpine F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon, with Stroll feeling satisfied to score eight points at the end of a difficult triple-header for the Canadian.
“The car felt very good today and I am very happy with our performance,” said Stroll. “I made up a couple of places on lap one and over the first stint it was clear that we had pace to perform well.
“I overtook [Yuki] Tsunoda on the Mediums and then, after catching the guys ahead, undercut [Carlos] Sainz to move into sixth after stopping for the Hards.
“Overall, everything went perfectly for us today and scoring eight points at the end of this triple-header is a very satisfying reward for all our hard work.”
“We were basically at the back of the train after the first corner” – Sebastian Vettel
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel said the opening lap in Qatar heavily affected his race, with the German dropping to seventeenth before recovering to tenth.
Vettel attempted to go around the outside at the opening turn only to find the track dirty and with very little grip, and rather than gaining ground he found himself heading backwards.
After the start, the four-time World Champion made steady progress and was able to claim the final point for tenth place after the puncture for Bottas dropped him out of the top ten.
“The start of the race proved very costly,” said Vettel. “We were basically at the back of the train after the first corner. We made a reasonable recovery from P17, but we lost the potential to score more points than we did.
“On the approach to Turn One, there were lots of cars around me and I was squeezed. I tried to go around the outside but the track was dirtier than I expected and I slid wide. It is frustrating because the car was quick, especially when we were in clean air, and that helped me recover to P10.
“So, after lap one, it was a strong race, a good recovery, but it hurts when you are on the back foot straight away. It is great to see both cars in the points today so there are many positives to take away from the weekend.”