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On Track

The Debrief by Aramco: Japanese GP

Fernando returns to the points in the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Aston Martin F1

Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix proved challenging with Fernando finishing eighth and Lance retiring with damage.

Fernando qualified 10th and Lance 17th and both made moves at the beginning of the race on Soft tyres. However, the Safety Car was deployed on Lap One – halting their progress on the faster compound.

Fernando pitted on Lap 12 for Hards, two laps before the Virtual Safety Car was deployed, while Lance pitted for Mediums on Lap 15. Lance continued a solid show of pace and looked to be moving into the points.

Unfortunately, Lance was pitted after 20 laps to retire the car due to a rear wing failure.

Fernando meanwhile made a second stop on Lap 26 for Hards, and finished eighth.

Read what Fernando, Lance and Team Principal Mike Krack said after Sunday's race in Japan.


F. AlonsoFL: 1:37.203
L. StrollFL: 1:39.050

#14 Fernando Alonso

"It was a good race today: a mega start moved us up to sixth and the car felt good despite a lack of performance yesterday.

"Having started on the Softs, we pitted a little earlier than those around us and we struggled a bit once we switched to the Hard tyre.

"On the second set of Hards, we were quite competitive, so we were able to push and keep the Alpines behind at the end. Everyone is working flat out at the track and at the AMRTC, so we will keep pushing and look forward to Qatar."

#18 Lance Stroll

"My race was ended by a rear wing failure today.

"It's disappointing because I had a good start, making up five places on the opening lap, and I think a point or two would have been possible.

"That's racing sometimes. We'll investigate what happened and go again in a couple of weeks' time in Qatar."

Mike Krack, Team Principal

"Realistically, with the performance we had this weekend, we achieved the maximum possible result with Fernando this afternoon – there wasn't much more he could have done out there.

"He brought home some useful points for us. Lance also raced well – he made a good start, passed some cars and was on course for a top-10 finish when we noticed an issue with his rear wing.

"We chose to make a precautionary stop and had to retire his car. He deserved more from today. 

"Now it’s time to refocus ahead of the next race in Qatar."


#14 Fernando Alonso | Free Practice & Qualifying


"It was difficult for us to find any more pace today.

"I extracted the maximum from my laps and I'm happy to keep my run of Q3 appearances going.

"From track to track, the performance levels keep changing – on paper, we knew it would be challenging today.

"It will be an interesting race but we are optimistic of scoring good points tomorrow. Usually, we are better in the race so let's see what we can do."

#18 Lance Stroll | Free Practice & Qualifying


"It was a good effort in a tough qualifying session today – but we just didn't have the pace in the car that we ultimately needed.

"It's not been handling as well as we'd like around here, and I lost a couple of tenths coming out of the last corner.

"That makes all the difference when the field is as tight as it is.

"We can still recover a few positions tomorrow and have a good race."

Mike Krack, Team Principal

"A tough session today. Both drivers did a good job – but we have to be honest with ourselves: we did not have enough performance to qualify higher.

"Lance's Q1 run plan was disrupted by the mid-session red flag, and he was unlucky to miss the cut after posting a lap just shy of Fernando's. However, Fernando maintains his consecutive streak of Q3 appearances this year: he will start 10th for tomorrow's Grand Prix.

"Tyre degradation is likely to play a key role in this race. We have kept one eye on our tyre allocation throughout practice – and we feel we are in good shape for tomorrow.

"The Japanese Grand Prix is always a tough race, but we will give it everything we've got and aim to score points tomorrow."


#14 | Fernando Alonso | Free Practice


"It's tricky to read where we are after today, but the car felt good to drive around here. Formula One® cars are made for this type of circuit and it is always great to drive at Suzuka.

"We need to look at the data tonight to see what we can do ahead of the rest of the weekend.

"Our aim is to make Q3 in qualifying tomorrow, continuing our streak of appearances, but it looks tight with how close the field is."

#18 | Lance Stroll | Free Practice


"Suzuka is such a special track – probably my favourite – so I've enjoyed being out there today. After last weekend, it was good to immediately feel comfortable back behind the wheel.

"We made some set-up changes between practice sessions and the car was feeling good by the end of FP2, but there are definitely a few more bits to look at overnight as we aim to extract the maximum out of the package.

"Q3 has to be the qualifying target here, but we know the field has been super tight recently so we'll need to keep pushing hard."

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