NOVEMBER 4, 2023

Stroll's plan is to stay at Aston Martin in 2024

Lance Stroll says the "plan" is that he will still be at his father's Aston Martin team in 2024.

Lance Stroll, Brazilian GP 2023
© Aston Martin Racing

The struggling Canadian driver is back in the Formula 1 headlines - but this time for the right reasons after a solid but in many ways lucky top-3 qualifying performance in Brazil.

It came amid what Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and many other drivers described as being unprecedented, dark-skied weather conditions at Interlagos - where the wind was suddenly so strong in Q3 that it blew the roof off a grandstand.

Max adapted best, said Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko, but Aston Martin also got its session strategy just right as Fernando Alonso is P4 behind Stroll after a difficult period for the Silverstone based team.

Stroll, who has been accused of lacking the speed and motivation for F1 and only enjoying the support of his billionaire father Lawrence, admitted: "I still really felt like crap in the car.

But I think we did a good job getting both cars, me and Fernando, at the front of the queue, he added.

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

As for the future, rumours have suggested Lawrence may be losing interest in bankrolling Lance's F1 career - with pressure perhaps also coming from mother Claire-Anne to choose a different direction for the rest of his life.

However, Aston Martin has already announced that Stroll and Alonso are staying in 2024 - even with last year's well-backed Felipe Drugovich now also signed up for next year as ongoing reserve.

Stroll said in Brazil: "I mean, the plan is I'm staying next year.

"You know, it's been a challenging season at times for sure. Some great highlights but also some really frustrating days recently.

But the plan is to keep going next year for sure.

Spaniard Alonso, 42, has also been caught up in a web of rumours about his future recently, but he says Friday's result is a much-needed shot in the arm for morale at Aston Martin.

We needed it, he said when asked about the team's second-row lockout at Interlagos.

We needed a good result for both cars here in Brazil to give the team hope. It shows we do know what we're doing and I'm happy about that.

And after the first-corner clash involving Leclerc and the Red Bull 'sandwich' a week ago in Mexico, Ferrari is not dismissing the green cars for the race.

It's a good thing that we're not sandwiched between the two Red Bulls again, smiled team boss Frederic Vasseur, but let's not underestimate the Aston Martins.