There is a difference in opinion in the Aston Martin camp, with Lance Stroll flabbergasted by the pace of Mercedes at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Stroll stated “(Mercedes) had a rocket ship, I’m not sure where they found that pace.”
“I was expecting us to be the strongest car after Red Bull. I expected that after all the races this year. We just didn’t have it.
“[We had] a lot of degradation and [were] struggling with our pace compared to Merc, Ferrari. Red Bull is in another league. We just didn’t have the upper hand.”
His shock is understandable, now backed by new upgrades, Mercedes bagged a double podium with Lewis Hamilton finishing second and George Russell third.
Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso only managed sixth and seventh respectively – Stroll almost 40 seconds behind Hamilton.
Stroll continued his analysis, saying “It felt like at the beginning of the first stint when we were in third (start of race), I was comfortably just keeping that gap to Carlos, even pulling away from Lewis a little bit.
“But then, like five laps into the race, they just didn’t have any deg and I just felt the tyres dropping off.
“They were pushing on. Even looking at Russell’s race, I think they were able to do that all race. They seemed to have a really good car.”
The Canadian Grand Prix is the next race on the horizon and Aston Martin will be looking for a solid response; it appears a fearless Alonso is up for the challenge:
“I think it’s a race and in Canada we crush them.”
Fernando Alonso not fazed by Mercedes pace
Aston Martin are due to bring in upgrades of their own with the aim of closing the 18-point gap on rivals Mercedes.
Alonso continued his assessment, adamant Aston Martin can remain in contention.
“In terms of Constructors, it’s true that Mercedes took some important points from us, but we took points from Ferrari again,” he said.
“In Canada, we will bring more stuff, in Silverstone too… It will depend on who brings the improvements. Even with a normal time, we would have been on a par with Hamilton and maybe we would have had a better chance.”
The Spaniard’s comments only heighten the excitement for the Canadian Grand Prix, but can Aston Martin or Mercedes catch Red Bull?