Lance Stroll reckons the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team would not have improved their car as much as they did in 2022 had they not changed the way they work behind the scenes.
The Canadian believes the team would not have been able to put as much resource or money into a development programme in their previous guises, including the Racing Point Formula 1 Team, with the AMR22 from 2022 showing significant improvements amid a number of upgrades.
Aston Martin started the year towards the back of the field but ended it with performances good enough for the top six, and Stroll says it is testament to the way they were able to develop their car that they showed moments of strong pace.
“I think the team has evolved a lot,” said Stroll to Motorsport.com. “At the factory, with the way that things are done, and how the car’s developed, I think a couple of years ago, we would have been in a much more difficult position to dig ourselves out of the hole that we were in at the beginning of the year.
“Now, I think big changes were made. We had a fully different car in Barcelona, and then upgrades from there. Then, all of a sudden, we find ourselves in some races in a much better position than before.
“I don’t think that we would have been in that position a couple of years ago, to dig ourselves out of that hole. So, I think in that sense, we’ve made huge progress. The whole approach as a team, we’re bonding much better than we used to in the past.
“I think we’re integrating much better than in the past. And I think back at the factory, the whole work ethic, communication, the way that everything is done, I think we’ve come a long way from where we were as Racing Point.”
Despite the optimism from Stroll, the Canadian says Aston Martin need to continue their work and ensure they show competitiveness in every race, with their form fluctuating at times during 2022.
Stroll highlights the performances across two consecutive weekends towards the back end of the year, with a strong weekend in the United States being followed by a below par weekend in Mexico City.
“We became much more competitive during the season, and we put ourselves in a position at many races to fight for points and challenging to get into Q3, and all those things where we were just not even close to that at the beginning of the year,” Stroll said.
“In that regard, it’s been really positive. But we still have those odd races, like, going from Austin to Mexico, one week later, where we were probably the fourth-fastest team, I would say in Texas before we had all our issues, to the ninth/tenth-fastest team in Mexico. And then in Sao Paulo, again, we were somewhere in the middle.
“I think we still have those weekends where we kind of don’t know why we’re not, for whatever reason, as competitive as other weekends. We have ideas but we are not 100 percent sure.
“I think that, going forward, that has to be the target: to be more competitive more often at different kinds of tracks: high efficiency, low downforce, high downforce. I guess that’s the focus.
“But when I look at where we came from at the beginning of the year, I think it’s been a big step in the right direction.”