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Back-to-back top 10 starts for Lance after Imola qualifying

Lance Stroll Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Saturday

Lance Stroll sealed 10th on the grid for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, while Sebastian qualified P13 for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team.

After racking up almost 100 laps on Friday, the team used Saturday morning’s third practice session to conduct long runs on the Medium tyre, before switching to shorter stints on the Soft tyre.

With each driver completing 19 laps in FP3, Lance and Sebastian helped refine the AMR21 for qualifying and the Grand Prix at Imola.


Lance was first to head out in Q1 on a set of new Soft tyres and the Canadian set an early benchmark time of 1.16.082 before an AlphaTauri crashed and caused a red flag with 12 minutes left on the clock.

The lengthy disruption to allow for the car's recovery affected several runners, but with Lance’s first flying effort in the bag, he was able to fully prepare for his second attempt.

Lance would wait until the final moments of Q1 to head out on a new set of the Soft tyres and significantly improved his lap time to 1.15.522, comfortably earning a Q2 spot.

Q2 demonstrated the incredible competition in Formula One’s 2021 midfield battle as fine margins decided the order.

Lance would initially slot inside the top five on his opening run after completing a lap in 1.15.411, a time that underlined the car's Q3 potential.

Q3 proved a more challenging session as Lance was put on the back foot after a lap time deletion, which cost him a potential ninth on the grid, but he still secured 10th and a good platform for tomorrow's race.

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“I am pretty happy with the session, but it is a shame that my best lap was deleted in Q3. We were in ninth so that knocked me down a place. The margins for track limits are very fine and a few drivers were caught out today.

"I said yesterday how much I enjoy this track and the car felt really good today – as though it has really come alive this weekend. That is encouraging, but it is a very tight grid and we want to be closer to the front.

"We are all working hard to do that. We are not miles off and we know where we can improve. It will be interesting to see how we perform in the race because the long run pace yesterday looked similar to the teams around us. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

He would then make one final run in the last minute to make sure of his place in the top 10 and found a small improvement to secure 10th with a 1.15.138.

Q3 proved a more challenging session as Lance was put on the back foot after a lap time deletion, which cost him a potential ninth on the grid, but he still secured 10th and a good platform for tomorrow's race.



Sebastian overcame an early setback in Q1 after the AlphaTauri crash, which forced him into abandoning his first flying lap and using up some of the life of his Soft tyres. But, unfazed, he headed back out with 10 minutes left on the clock to complete his second attempt.

Sebastian would then post a 1.15.917 time to move into the top 10 before a final run with just over a minute to go, in which he improved further to a 1.15.459 effort, moving him into ninth and comfortably into Q2.

The German would then use the slightly worn set of Softs from Q1 at the beginning of the session but lost some time in Turn 12. He would return to the circuit to lap in 1.15.934 in the final half of Q2.

There was a succession of improved lap times late on that narrowly pushed Sebastian outside of a Q3 berth and into 13th for tomorrow’s race.

While frustrated at missing out on Q3, Sebastian noted the recent improvements in the AMR21 and his closeness to the top 10 offers the potential of points with a well-executed race.

“Overall, I think it was a reasonable qualifying session. I think there was a little bit left on the table in some of my laps, but it is obviously very tight and a tenth or two can cost you quite a lot of positions.

"I feel we are making progress, but I am still missing the full confidence to extract the maximum. I am still not entirely happy, but I am happier than last time [in Bahrain]. I can see and feel the progress we are making: session by session, lap by lap, we are getting that little bit better.

"I do not know what to expect tomorrow because all the teams appear to be very closely matched in the middle of the grid, and it is a narrow track where overtaking is not easy. There is also the question of whether it will rain, which might help us. Regardless, we need a clean getaway tomorrow and then we can take it from there.”


Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal

“A solid afternoon where both drivers were pushing hard. Lance’s best effort was discounted for a breach of track limits, but he progressed to Q3 once again and is well placed to score points tomorrow.

"We saw in Bahrain that we were more competitive in the race compared to qualifying and I anticipate the same here. Lance should be able to race the cars ahead of him, just as he did in Bahrain.

"Our race pace should also help us bring Sebastian into contention for points. We will do our homework tonight to be fully prepared for tomorrow with plenty of strategy options.”

Recap Friday

Lance and Sebastian take to Imola

Previewing Imola

The drivers' take