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Formula 1 Brazilian GP

Stroll: Aston Martin F1 made own luck with third in Brazilian GP qualifying

Lance Stroll reckons his Aston Martin Formula 1 team "made our own luck" with its second-row lockout in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, in the garage after Qualifying

The final stage of qualifying for Sunday's race in Sao Paulo began with rainfall expected to emerge partway through the session, as dark clouds rolled over the circuit.

This precipitated a rush to get a banker lap in at the start of the session, and Aston Martin took the initiative by queuing up at the pitlane exit first in a bid to beat the incoming inclement weather.

Stroll managed to outqualify team-mate Fernando Alonso on their laps after the Spaniard was first onto the road but, as weather conditions worsened, pace began to decline and only polesitter Max Verstappen and runner-up Charles Leclerc overcame the Aston Martins.

"I don't think we were lucky today; I think we made our own luck," Stroll replied to a question asking if Aston Martin's result was largely through good fortune.

"I think we did well going to the front of the queue and getting good track position. And, yeah, the weather was coming in, so I think that was smart."

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23

A change in wind direction, which Verstappen explained was a switch from a moderate tailwind down the start-finish straight to a brisk headwind, ensured that many of the drivers struggled to navigate sector two with the same precision compared to Q1 and Q2, resulting in a drop in ultimate lap time.

Stroll explained that this hurt the handling characteristics of the car, but that other drivers struggled more having gone out onto the circuit later.

He added: "I still really felt crap in the car, it was really tricky in Q3 and the wind changed direction, so it was still really tough. But I think we did a good job getting both cars, me and Fernando at the front of the queue, and the team did a good job at giving us an attempt before the bad weather came in.

"It looks like a lot of guys missed their laps or didn't get them in for whatever reason, so I think we made our own luck today."

Explaining Aston Martin's upturn in fortunes, which surged from a double-Q1 elimination in Mexico qualifying to both drivers getting into the top 10, Stroll explained that the overall circuit conditions at Interlagos were much more favourable to the AMR23 package.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team, in the post Qualifying Press Conference

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team, in the post Qualifying Press Conference

He reckoned that his race fortunes in Austin had been stronger but masked by a poor qualifying, and that the Brazil round hinted that a corner had been turned on single-lap pace.

"We were competitive and I was feeling good in the car, so it was definitely a much better day for us than we've had in a while. Mexico is a tough track for everyone, high altitude and low grip," he explained.

"The balance was good all day, I felt good grip in the car, and that's when you can keep improving, tidy things up, and keep it clean."

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