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Formula 1 Austrian GP

Alonso's "high level" F1 performances show I need to do better - Stroll

Lance Stroll says there is no hiding from the fact he must do better in Formula 1, with Aston Martin team-mate Fernando Alonso operating at a "really high level."

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team, on the grid with an engineer

Alonso has proved to be one of the stars of the 2023 campaign after bagging six podiums, while Stroll has endured a more challenging time with his best result being fourth place at the crash-hit Australian GP.

And although Stroll has singled out Alonso as the "best team-mate" he has ever had in F1, he says that is no excuse for not lifting his own performances to try to match him.

"In terms of just outright pace, he's been more on top of it than me," admitted Stroll ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix. "He's been quicker, and he's been driving incredibly well.

"I don't think we, as a team, have gotten the most out of our weekends. I think we haven't shown some of our true results but there's definitely some work to do, and some things to improve.

"Fernando has been at a very, very high level, and I've got to definitely work on a few things and get better."

Stroll believes many factors have come together to contribute to the difficulties he has faced, but has admitted that even on his good days Alonso has still had an edge.

"I think it's a combination of things," he said. "I think things from the car you're always looking for, and things from me. I missed a tremendous amount of testing at the beginning of the season, and that's always a big thing.

"But honestly Fernando has just been at a really, really high level. And even when I felt like some of my best days were really good days, he's been that little bit quicker. He's been at a really high level."

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

While Stroll has had a relatively disappointing season so far, he thinks that his situation has been hampered a lot by circumstances.

"I think we started the season strong, all things considered in Bahrain, and then Jeddah and Melbourne, I think it was good," he explained. "Then we hit a bit of a rough patch after Baku. But I know why.

"Miami was tough, because we didn't put the second set of tyres on in Q1. In Monaco, we had some [floor] damage in Q2 and Barcelona, we were competitive again.

"Then in Canada, we had some issues in Q2. So, I think there's been reasons why it hasn't been good."

Stroll is convinced, however, that it is just small details that he needs to get right that can help him finally unlock the potential that he feels is within him.

"It is details and it's also circumstances," he said. "I think things like in Miami, trying to get out of Q1 on one set. He did the same as me, he just got through by one tenth and I missed it by one tenth. And then you put on the new sets and afterwards, I'm in 17th and he is in Q3.

"It was the same thing in Monaco. We had floor damage, and then Monaco you cannot recover if you start 12th or 13th, where we started, and that cost us the weekend.

"Then Canada was a very tricky session. But when I look at the other weekends, I think it's been small details and things to work on. But he's still been quicker for sure. So, I'm definitely focused on the things that I have got to work on. And this weekend is another opportunity to do that."

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And while dealing with Alonso being quicker than him up until now is not easy, Stroll says that it is acting as a good target for him to lift his game.

Asked if Alonso's form was motivating for him, he said: "For sure, and he's been doing it his whole career.

"He's getting the most out of every car that he's gotten in, and even when it wasn't a winning car, he was kind of able to win with them. I think he's demonstrating that again this season.

"With this car, he's pushing it to the limit and finishing pretty much behind Max at every race. So it's very impressive. And I'm definitely motivated to push and get to that level."

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