Despite having out-qualified and finished ahead of Lance Stroll at every Grand Prix this season, Fernando Alonso doesn’t think his team-mate is “missing any pace”, with the Canadian instead just needing a “little more luck”.
Following his retirement at last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, Stroll’s performances have started to be questioned, given that Aston Martin are fighting for second in the Constructors’ Championship.
The 24-year-old has very much been in Alonso’s shadow so far this season, with the two-time World Champion having claimed five podiums from the opening six races.
His remarkable form has left him third in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of his home Grand Prix this weekend, whilst Stroll is languishing down in eighth.
Stroll’s best result this season is fourth at the Australian Grand Prix, with him having only collected 27 points so far this year.
Compared to Alonso’s 93, it shows why Stroll’s performances are beginning to be questioned, given that Aston Martin need two drivers performing amongst the top-five to take the fight to Mercedes and Ferrari in the championship.
As things stand, Alonso is effectively fighting Mercedes and Ferrari alone, meaning the Silverstone-based side will likely slip from second to fourth as the season develops.
This is unless Stroll finds some pace, something Alonso doesn’t think he’s lacking.
The Spaniard explained ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix how Stroll has been unfortunate this year so far, with the 41-year-old believing Stroll will start to achieve better results.
“He has been very unlucky the last two events,” admitted Alonso.
“If we go back to Bahrain, driving with one hand [after breaking his wrist in a pre-season cycling crash] he was very fast. Then Jeddah he had the exhaust problem when he was in front of the Ferraris in P5.
“Then in Miami we were risking too much probably in Q1 and that compromised the race. And in Monaco the debris from Lando’s car, the McLaren, completely compromised the whole weekend.
“Obviously this put the headlines, very easy to be hard on that.
“I think if you see the whole weekend even in Monaco in FP3 he was within one tenth and a half of the fastest. He has provided the right feedback, info and strategy about everything.
“So I really hope for him that he has a little more luck because I don’t think that he’s missing any pace. It’s just opportunistic moments that were not in his side.”