Lance Stroll ‘getting excited’ by Rachel Brookes

Lance Stroll out-qualified Fernando Alonso for the first time this season in Barcelona.

Lance Stroll was incredibly pleased after qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix, with the Canadian having secured fifth on the grid for Sunday’s seventh race of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Despite having struggled on Friday, Stroll looked very good on Saturday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the Canadian having claimed fifth on the grid.

He actually qualified sixth but was promoted to fifth following a six-place grid penalty for Pierre Gasly, following two separate incidents of impeding.

Stroll’s qualifying performance marked the first time this year remarkably that he out-qualified team-mate Fernando Alonso, who will start from eighth in front of his home crowd.

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Alonso was deeply disappointed with his qualifying performance ahead of his home race; however, the 41-year-old admitted that it was completely his own fault.

“I did a mistake, I went on the damp part of the circuit, I lost the car and then it was very costly because that gravel completely destroys the floor,” Alonso said after qualifying, as reported by the Daily Star.

“It hurts even more because it was the out lap, I was not even pushing, so disappointed with my performance today. Hopefully, I can do a better Sunday.”

Whilst Alonso will have to work incredibly hard to claim a top-five finish, Stroll has a great opportunity to perhaps challenge for a podium, something he desperately needs to achieve.

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Alonso has claimed five podiums already this season, whereas Stroll hasn’t finished higher than fourth.

Sky Sports F1 reporter Rachel Brookes asked the 24-year-old if he was “thinking about a podium”, to which Stroll cheekily winked at the reporter.

“You must be thinking about a podium, is this your first real chance to get a podium this season?” Brookes asked Stroll.

“You’re getting me excited Rachel!” admitted the Canadian, before jokingly winking.

Interestingly, Stroll believes he could’ve actually claimed a front row start, with the timings having been “pretty tight”.

He’s nevertheless in a “good position” to score some good points, something he’s certainly targeting.

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“Pretty decent session, it was pretty tight, a bit frustrating with how close P2 is,” said Stroll, as per the official Formula 1 website.

“I think you always think where you could go a bit faster, find a couple tenths to be on the front row, but it was a good effort. I’m in a good position for tomorrow.

“You can always go faster, hindsight is a beautiful thing, you can always look at corners you could have gone a bit better. But there’s a lot of opportunity tomorrow, it’s a long race so we’ll see what we can do.”