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Racing

Fernando Alonso Says Teammate Lance Stroll Could Be F1 Champion

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  • The association between the 24-year-old Lance Stroll and 41-year-old Fernando Alonso goes back more than a decade.
  • Stroll’s highest overall finish in the F1 Drivers’ Championship is 11th place in his six seasons so far.
  • Winless Stroll has three podium finishes in his Formula 1 career.

    Lance Stroll has the potential to become a Formula 1 World Champion.

    At least that’s the verdict of his new teammate at Aston Martin, Fernando Alonso.

    Alonso’s tenure with the Alpine F1 team concluded after last season with a blunt assessment of teammate Esteban Ocon after the two drivers had couple of run-ins at the end of 2022. Alonso’s Aston Martin journey, meanwhile, is starting with words of praise for Stroll.

    Lance Stroll looks like a former F1 champion to Fernando Alonso.

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    In an interview conducted and distributed by Aston Martin team communications itself, Alonso referred to Stroll as “a driver who is super young, super talented and has the possibility to be World Champion.”

    The association between the 24-year-old Stroll and 41-year-old Alonso goes back more than a decade. The Canadian was signed to Ferrari’s Driver Academy before he was even a teenager during a period when Alonso spearheaded Ferrari’s Formula 1 charge in the early 2010s.

    Aston Martin’s Formula 1 team is owned by Lance’s father, Lawrence, who Alonso described as “a great friend—I’ve been to his house in Canada a few times, doing different sports, and enjoying time together.”

    The younger Stroll, according to Alonso, “has the speed, and he has the talent.”

    “He has shown it many times, especially in wet conditions. I remember Lance’s pole position in Turkey and some of his other excellent performances in the wet; to perform at that level in difficult conditions you have to have a special feeling with the car.”

    Alonso was referring to Stroll’s pole in Turkey, in 2020, a year in which Stroll also claimed two of his three career podiums to date. That year marked Stroll’s highest overall finish in the championship, 11th place, of his six seasons so far.

    Alonso, meanwhile, has traded 2022’s fourth-best team for one that has taken successive seventh-placed finishes in the championship.

    However Stroll Sr. is investing heavily in personnel and facilities at its Silverstone base, with a new factory to open in the next few months, as part of its long-term ambitions.

    “Aston Martin is taking the necessary steps to win in the near future,” said Alonso. “The team is determined to become a championship contender and will do whatever it takes to get there. This ambition is appealing to any racing driver. You see all the investment, the new factory, the talent joining the team, and you want to be part of it.

    “This is a very special opportunity for me with this team at this moment in my career.

    “I’ve been preparing physically and mentally for this challenge, and I see this project as a winning one. It’s a matter of time until Aston Martin is winning races and championships. Making that time as short as possible, this is my biggest challenge—but I’m ready for it.”

    Alonso and Stroll will help to unveil Aston Martin’s 2023 car, the AMR23, at Silverstone on February 13.

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