Formula One

Alonso: Stroll return a good sign, shows ‘desire to win’


Fernando Alonso says Lance Stroll’s return to the fray this weekend is “a good sign” for Aston Martin as it shows the Canadian driver’s fighting spirit and “motivation to win”.

Stroll was forced to sit out pre-season testing in Bahrain last week due to a wrist injury suffered in a cycling crash. The 24-year-old underwent surgery to accelerate his recovery and has been deemed fit to race for this weekend’s opening round at Sakhir.

Alonso said his team mate’s plight reminded him that he raced last year with several broken bones in both of his hands as a result of his crash in Q3 in Australia caused by a hydraulics failure on his Alpine.

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“In my case, I broke a few bones in both hands last year,” he recalled. “So, until August, I was not fully recovered. I had some pain, but we love driving!”

Alonso praised Stroll for his desire to return to the fray as soon as possible, insisting it sent a good signal to the team.

“I don’t know exactly what Lance has. It’s a private thing… he will check on the car, obviously,” added the Spaniard.

“It’s already very good news that he’s here and he will try. That shows his desire to win and his motivation to win with this team.

“This is even fighting for whatever position we can this weekend. He’s here ready to try. That’s a very good sign.”

The two-time world champion – who many see fighting for a podium finish this weekend given Aston’s strong display in testing – revealed that Stroll was kept closely informed of his team’s developments in Bahrain last week and that he had sampled his new AMR23 mount in the simulator.

“We’ve been in contact from day one,” said Alonso. “Lance was updated on everything during the test. We spoke with him during lunch and also in the evening sessions.

“He was at the simulator the last few days as well giving us feedback, so we were on the same page basically on real time.”

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Alonso: Stroll return a good sign, shows ‘desire to win’

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