Going into Turn One, Mercedes’ George Russell and pole sitter Carlos Sainz were involved in a collision, which affected several cars around them. Managing to navigate his way around the chaos, Lance got himself up to third in between the two Mercedes cars.
Choosing his battles wisely, Lance then flitted between third and fifth as the pit window opened and the leaders ahead went in to change their tyres.
Opting to box at the end of lap 15, Lance came in to switch his Medium compounds for a fresh set of the same compound. He returned back to the track in eighth, behind Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, who started on the Hard compound.
As Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas became beached in the gravel on lap 18, a Safety Car interrupted the race. A pitstop during this sequence by Alonso promoted Lance up to seventh behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who benefitted from the race interruption.
As the Safety Car returned to the pitlane at the end of lap 21, Alonso began his hunt on Lance to regain seventh. On the long run down to Turn 12, he made a late move to the left of Lance’s Aston Martin, forcing the Canadian driver to shift slightly left and defend his position.
Alonso ended up rear-ending Lance’s car, launching into the air with the AMR22 suffering a rear-left puncture and subsequently spinning on track and ultimately unable to complete the race, resulting in a DNF.
Lance Stroll – Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One™ Team Driver
“We had a good start to the race; everything was feeling great with the car and we were sitting in third for a little while. Unfortunately, we had contact with Fernando [Alonso] which was a shame. There was a big difference in speed and I was defending. I gave him plenty of room on the left of the track, so it was not as if I squeezed him against the wall. He could have moved earlier or moved more to the left. Thankfully, it was not a big impact with the wall, I did not hit anything hard, and I am OK after the contact.”
February 12, 2024
The AMR24 broke cover as Aston Martin Aramco Formula One Team™ and Lance continue preparations for the upcoming season.