Lance Stroll labelled his qualifying outing the “worst session we’ve ever had” after setting the slowest time of all at the Italian Grand Prix.
Stroll was placed on the sidelines for FP1 on Friday to allow Aston Martin reserve driver Felipe Drugovich to fulfil one of the team’s mandatory young driver appearances.
Whilst Stroll returned for the afternoon session, the Canadian’s AMR23 car ground to a halt on only his third lap of the day with a fuel system problem.
Although he managed to get a full session under his belt around Monza on Saturday morning, Stroll was unable to escape the Q1 drop zone in qualifying, ending up 0.8s behind team-mate Fernando Alonso, who progressed to Q3 in the sister car.
“Yeah, it was definitely tricky, not feeling any grip in the car, not sure if it was no laps yesterday or generally in the session not getting to grips with it, got to look into what happened, yep, worst session we’ve ever had I think, so, I don’t know,” Stroll reflected.
However, Stroll believes his qualifying struggles were not purely down to his lack of on-track running earlier in the weekend.
“Yeah sure I didn’t do a lap yesterday but I think there was something going on in the car today that didn’t make sense, so we’ve got to look into it,” he added.
This weekend marked the return of the Alternative Tyre Allocation trial format, mandating the use of Hard tyres in Q1, Medium tyres in Q2 and Soft tyres in Q3.
But Stroll has also dismissed that the harder compound was responsible for his early exit.
“Everyone’s on the Hard tyre, the Soft felt much better in FP3 than the Hard just now but looks like everyone on the Hard just now was able to go quicker than on the soft in FP3 so, not really sure.”
Despite reaching Q3, Alonso qualified slowest of all in the pole position shootout, resigning him to lining up 10th for tomorrow’s race.