Lance Stroll scored in Australia his best result of the season with Aston Martin, but the good fortune from which he benefitted late in the race wasn’t lost on the Canadian.
Stroll was caught up in the commotion and chaos of the second restart and almost the fruits of an entire afternoon of good racing.
Stroll had spent the bulk of his race in sixth position, three spots behind teammate Fernando Alonso, and that looked like where he would conclude his trip to Australia.
However, an off by Haas’ Kevin Magnussen in the closing stages of the race triggered the second red flag of the day.
But on the restart it all went wrong for Team Silverstone, with Alonso punted out of third by Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari on the exit of the first corner while Stroll made a mess of his braking into Turn 3 and slid into the gravel trap.
However, a third red flag was brandished, courtesy of Alpine’s drivers coming together with fracas, and it saved Aston’s day, as the order for the final procession lap behind the safety car relied on the previous start, minus the cars that had been eliminated in the chaos.
Alonso was this reassigned to third while Stroll advanced to fifth on the road, thanks to Pierre Gasly’s demise, before he moved up to fourth in the final standings due to a 5-second penalty handed to Sainz.
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“Yeah, I mean, it was a funny race. I think we got away with some stuff going wrong at the end,” admitted the Canadian.
“I had my big lock-up, and I was kind of running in third, and then I went off the track just with the tyres being super cold, and Fernando got hit and spun.
“Then you know, we lucked out with the timing of the red flags, so yeah… [we’ll] take it, some good points.”
Stroll admitted that waiting for race control to rule on the final restart positions was a tense affair.
“For sure. Tension, frustration… I didn’t know if I just threw away the podium kind of thing,” he said. “Yeah, anyways, [we’ll] take it.”
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Aston Martin’s remarkable tally of 65 points of F1’s Constructors’ standings now surpasses its total 55 points haul in 2022.
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