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The Debrief by Aramco: Bahrain Grand Prix

Fernando and Lance secure a double points finish at the 2024 Formula One season opener in Bahrain.

Aston Martin F1

Fernando and Lance achieved a double points finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix as the 2024 Formula One season began at the Bahrain International Circuit, with Fernando crossing the line in ninth place and Lance following him home in 10th.

Saturday round-up and reaction

  • After a fast start, contact at the first corner left Lance at the back of the field, but the Canadian put in a strong recovery drive to finish inside the top ten and open his account for the year.

  • Dropping to the rear of the field, he stopped early for a set of Hards and began his determined fightback, showing good pace to plot a path to the points.

  • Starting P6, Fernando fought with the McLarens and Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes but ultimately could not keep them at bay and finished P9 to secure a handful of valuable points.

  • Saturday's race provided a first opportunity to understand the AMR24's race pace relative to the field. The team will now analyse the data gathered from the 57-lap race, and build on its learnings at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in a week's time.

F. AlonsoFL: 1:34.199
L. StrollFL: 1:35.632

#18 | Lance Stroll

"It feels good to score a point after running last after the first lap of the race. I had a good getaway off the line, but then got tagged by Nico [Hülkenberg] and fell to the back of the pack. I knew it would be a long race from there, but I focused on managing the tyres and made a few passes on track. The team gave me a good strategy, too.

"We know we've got some work to do as we develop the AMR24 and unlock some more pace, but it's a long season and we’ll keep pushing."

#14 | Fernando Alonso

"I'm happy to score some points from the race today and it was probably where we expected to finish. It ended up being a bit of a quiet race for us with a gap ahead and behind us. We thought we would stay out longer on both stints and hope there was an advantage to gain from a Safety Car, but it wasn't to be.

"I think we have some analysis to do on our one lap pace against our race performance. I'm feeling confident that we can improve as the season progresses and let's see if we can be a bit stronger in Saudi Arabia next week."

Mike Krack | Team Principal

"We completed our objective of getting both cars home in the points and that's a good way to start the new season - so a big thank you to the entire team in Silverstone and trackside.

"We certainly optimised things this evening, considering our race pace, and scoring points is a reward for the team's hard work over the last few weeks. It was a brilliant recovery drive from Lance after being hit and spun around at the first corner.

"The strategy for Fernando was designed to keep our options open, in the event of Safety Cars. In the end, it was a straightforward race for him. We need a bit more performance to challenge the teams ahead, but this is one race, one track and we will work hard over the coming days to make progress in Jeddah next weekend."

Next up

The second round of the season is just a week away as Formula One heads to Saudi Arabia to complete the first double-header of the campaign.

As in Bahrain, the entire Grand Prix weekend is shifted forward a day in Jeddah, with Free Practice on Thursday, Qualifying on Friday and the race on Saturday.


  • A very competitive first Qualifying session of 2024 ends with the top six drivers separated by just over three-and-a-half tenths, with Fernando inside that group.

  • Fernando and the team complete just one flying run in Q3, taking advantage of a quiet track and a fresh set of Soft tyres to post a lap time good enough to secure a P6 grid slot for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

  • Lance narrowly misses out on Q3 by just 0.078s and will start tomorrow's race in 12th, underlining the close-fought nature of the session.

  • The team has continued to hone and tweak the setup of the AMR24, gradually unlocking pace over the course of Friday's running.

#18 | Lance Stroll | Qualifying


"The AMR24 felt good in Qualifying - a reflection of the work we put in over testing to configure the set up.

"I had a strong flying lap in Q1 and was happy with my pace, but then got caught in some traffic at Turn 13 in my final Q2 run. That can be the difference between progressing [into Q3] or not when it's a such a tight field and every tenth matters.

"Such a close pack should make for interesting race tomorrow; I'll do my best to get a good start and we'll go from there."

#14 | Fernando Alonso | Qualifying


"It was a nice surprise tonight in qualifying to finish sixth and a very good way to start the new season. We were cautious heading into the session, but we found ourselves competitive and in the end we were only a tenth away from the Ferraris in Q3.

"The car felt more connected this weekend and our fine tuning was a real positive. I think it will be very close tomorrow in the race and the fine margins between us all means how we manage everything will be key. Let's see what we can do, but I'm confident heading into the race."

Mike Krack | Team Principal

“A well-executed Qualifying session sets us up nicely for a strong race where we can compete for points.

"Our Qualifying laps were clean and tidy, and we saw just how close all the teams are this year in terms of single-lap performance. You have to really get everything right in these circumstances because every tenth of a second matters.

"Our focus over the winter has been to close the gap to the front and the early indications are encouraging, but it's only the first Qualifying session of the year and we need to see how things unfold in the race. We will finally get the answers tomorrow on race performance: we've done our homework and have prepared well over the last couple of weeks, so let's see what we can do."

Next up

It's time to go racing for the first time in 2024. The Bahrain Grand Prix begins at 15:00 GMT with both Lance and Fernando seeking to begin the campaign on the front foot with a finish inside the points.


  • First day of Official Free Practice in 2024 focused on building on the learnings of pre-season testing and refining the setup of the AMR24.

  • Both Lance and Fernando only used the Medium compound tyre during FP1, with many teams also preferring to save their Soft and Hard allocations for later in the weekend. Fernando was fastest on the Medium tyres in FP1. 

  • FP2 run plan included Qualifying simulations and long runs to assess race pace ahead of Saturday's Grand Prix, and the team made setup changes to further dial the car in to the Bahrain International Circuit.

#18 | Lance Stroll | Free Practice


"Overall, it's been a solid day here in Bahrain. I think we made a step in FP2, the car felt good with the setup changes we made.

"I haven't looked fully into the long run pace yet but the car felt pretty good, so that's positive.

"Obviously, it's still early days and we don't know what others were doing with their fuel loads in the session. We'll know a lot more after Qualifying and the Grand Prix."

#14 | Fernando Alonso | Free Practice


"We focused on our programme today and are happy with the work we've done.

"We used Medium tyres during FP1 and then focused our attention more towards the Softs in FP2. We learnt more about the car whilst making some positive setup changes that we're happy with.

"It's important not to read too much into the timesheets at this stage because of a number of different factors and variables, but I’m feeling positive and looking forward to the first Qualifying of the season."

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