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Aston: Pressure weighed heavily on Stroll amid F1 2023 struggles

Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack says Lance Stroll's mid-season struggles in the 2023 Formula 1 season "was really heavy weighing" on him, and has praised his late improvements.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team, in Parc Ferme
Stroll's campaign started on the back foot after a pre-season cycling accident left him with a broken wrist and toe, compromising the Canadian's early races.
But as Stroll regained full fitness, Aston's form deteriorated in the second third of the season and he struggled to get comfortable in the AMR23 and adapt it his driving style, while team-mate Fernando Alonso managed to drive around its weaknesses.
Stroll previously shrugged off his form dip and said he "couldn't doubt myself", but team principal Krack revealed that the increased pressure and scrutiny from fans and media did "weigh heavily" on his driver, but that he was proud at how Stroll steadied the ship towards the end of 2023.
"They are they are young athletes, this is weighing on them," Krack said. "They want to perform, and if the performance is not to your own expectation it's always difficult for everybody.
"So, I'm really happy that we managed the turnaround, there was a lot of dialogue over all these months and weeks and what I really admire is that as a team, and also on Lance's side, we always stuck to our principles, working hard, working together, and believing in each other.
"And that makes me quite proud of the team. All this pressure, that also came from you guys, it was really weighing heavily on Lance. And to then come out the way he managed together with the team, I think it made us much stronger for the future."
Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Krack felt Stroll, who scored just 74 points compared to Alonso's 206, was a little unfortunate that the team's best spell came at a time when he was still recovering from his injuries.
"We must not forget at the beginning of the season, when we had really strong car compared to the competition, he was hampered by the injuries," Krack added. "And then when the car was a little bit worse, he was in better shape again."
But while Stroll was dealt a rough hand by going up against two-time world champion Alonso, Krack felt having a team-mate that's firing on all cylinders has also benefitted him.
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"Just like the team, Lance has learned a huge amount from Fernando," he opined. "And also I think how to manage difficult situations, you always look what your teammate is doing, how he's behaving, or is handling. 
"We have all learned a great deal there, not trying to invent things, but really stick to our data, stick to the analysis and move on from there."

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