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On Track

Lance and Sebastian show top 10 pace in Qatar GP practice

Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team showed promising pace in preparation for the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix, with drivers Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel taking sixth and ninth in Friday practice.

FP2 in Qatar

After a hydraulics issue brought his first practice session to a halt, Lance found his pace in FP2 while traffic impacted Sebastian during performance running in the second session.

Running in FP1 got off to a steady start, with Lance and Sebastian establishing a performance baseline in the AMR21 on the Hard compound.

Producing a 1.29.118 benchmark, Lance continually refined his lap time as the session progressed, ending his opening stint with a 1.26.712 run and 10th on the timesheets.

Sebastian's initial 1.33.124 lap time was also refined as the German got to grips with the Losail International Circuit understanding its limits and boundaries to produce a 1.26.465 lap on the Hard tyres.

At the halfway point, both drivers switched onto the Soft compound, with Sebastian producing a 1.25.328 run on his first hot lap that was worthy of fourth.

A hydraulic issue prevented Lance from completing any significant running on the fastest compound, as the Canadian'S FP1 session came to an early end.

Sebastian Vettel
1:25.328
12th
Lance Stroll
1:26.712
19th

This left Sebastian to focus on long-distance running in the final quarter. He ended FP1 in 12th with 19 laps on the board while Lance was 19th after failing to set a representative time, completing a further 11 tours.

FP2 was held under floodlights and provided conditions that were representative to Saturday's qualifying session and Sunday's race.

In the opening stages, Lance and Sebastian focused on performance running, using new Mediums before switching onto new Softs.

After laying down a 1.26.854 benchmark in FP2, Lance continually improved to briefly hold third with a 1.25.204 lap before ending his Medium stint with a 1.24.733.

Qatar Grand Prix

Race Preview

Qatar will makes its Formula One debut as part of a Middle East run to end a record-breaking campaign. Most famous for hosting MotoGP, the high-speed and flowing Losail Circuit has international pedigree. It will be a step into the unknown for the field, who have no relevant experience of the circuit.

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Qatar Grand Prix
Qatar Grand Prix

Sebastian also refined his pace as FP2 progressed, with a 1.25.226 run marking his best lap on the mid-range compound.

On the Softs, Lance continued to show encouraging pace and again held third with a 1.23.705 run while Sebastian was a handful of tenths adrift of his team-mate after encountering high traffic on consecutive laps.

In the second half of FP2, the duo focused on race simulations and split running across used Soft and used Medium tyres.

At the chequered flag, Lance finished in sixth overall while Sebastian's 1.24.020 was worthy of ninth, with the pair completing a total of 83 laps over the course of Friday.

Lance Stroll
1:23.705
6th
Sebastian Vettel
1:24.020
9th

Lance: "The track has a very good flow and that makes it very enjoyable. I had a lot of fun today. The hydraulics issue we experienced in FP1 did not cost us too much track time and for the second session the car felt really good.

"Saturday is another day but I have high hopes for a competitive weekend. Progressing through to Q3 is definitely the objective.

"If we can qualify well, I think we will be strong in the race too."

Sebastian: “Today was ok from my perspective, but at this stage it is difficult to understand where we are because everyone is still getting to grips with the track.

"It takes some time to focus and find your rhythm, but overall this is a very fun circuit to drive. I was not so happy with our pace over one lap and traffic made it difficult to get clean laps, but we have some time in FP3 to work on that further.

"Tomorrow, everyone will be aiming for the perfect lap in qualifying, but only some will achieve it.

"I am hoping to be one of them because, with it being so difficult to overtake, securing a good position on the grid will play a major part in our final result."

Facts and stats

Your guide to the Qatar GP

Ready to race

Nico Hülkenberg on the Qatar GP