Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has lauded the efforts of Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as both drivers got into the points.
The Silverstone side suffered a horrific weekend in Australia as Stroll and Vettel suffered four crashes in the space of two days, and it was beginning to look like a desperate situation for the team that had failed to score a single point in any of the opening three races of the season.
Vettel was labelled the “GOAT” after dragging the car into Q3 on Friday in Imola, but Stroll, who it must be said was out-performing the four-time champion in slippery conditions, was caught out by a red flag in Q2 that prevented him from putting in a lap time sufficient to make the top-10 shootout.
The German fell back in the dry sprint, but climbed up into the points off the start, and was running P7 for large parts of the afternoon before a charging Yuki Tsunoda flew past him on the main straight and sent him down to eighth.
Stroll, who had been battling Tsunoda through Turn 16 and down towards the Ravazza in immensely treacherous conditions, fended off the threat of Esteban Ocon to claim the final point in 10th, before Ocon’s penalty relegated him to P14 anyway.
Krack praised the sterling efforts of his drivers, who alleviated a mountain of pressure off the team by finishing in the top 10.
“Both Sebastian and Lance drove faultlessly in today’s tricky wet-to-dry race. In wet conditions, Sebastian vaulted into ninth on lap one, then comfortably raced inside the top 10 for the whole race,” he said after the race.
“As the track dried, he was one of the very first drivers to roll the dice and switch from Intermediates to the Medium tyre. The team and he judged that stop perfectly and Sebastian then ran smoothly in P7 until the closing laps, when he dropped to eighth.
“Equally, Lance didn’t put a foot wrong this afternoon. He too made a strong start, made up positions on the opening lap, and enjoyed a fantastic, spirited tussle with [Yuki] Tsunoda.
“After his stop, he settled down in 10th place, withstood race-long pressure from a train of cars behind him and scored his first point of the season.”
Aston Martin’s five-point haul is the most they have managed in six races since Stroll finished sixth in Qatar last year, so Krack affirms that everyone at Aston Martin has been given a huge lift.
“This was an eventful and exciting Grand Prix – and only ourselves and Red Bull Racing managed to bring both cars home in the points today.
“We know we still have a long way to go, but this afternoon’s result is a great boost for the whole team – both here in Imola and back at the factory,” he added.
Aston Martin have now passed Williams for ninth in the Constructors’ Standings following their double points finish.