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The Debrief by Aramco: Japanese Grand Prix

The team is in Japan for the fourth round of the 2024 Formula One World Championship. Get the latest thoughts from Lance and Fernando after racing in the Land of the Rising Sun.

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Fernando achieved a points finish at the Japanese Grand Prix, while Lance gained positions throughout the race with a series of good overtakes.

Sunday round-up and reaction

  • The team achieved another points finish after Fernando classified in P6 while Lance finished P12.

  • Drivers used different strategies to complete their races at Suzuka Circuit, with Lance on a three-stop while Fernando had a two-stop race. Lance initially started on Mediums from P16. Fernando, starting in fifth, opted for Softs.

  • After an opening lap red flag, Lance restarted the race on the Soft tyre before switching to Mediums and later Hards. He finished the race after heading back onto the Soft tyre. Meanwhile, Fernando restarted on Soft tyres and later used Mediums followed by the Hard compound until the end of the race.

  • Lance made a series of strong overtakes, resulting in him making up several places to finish the race in P12. 

  • In the closing stages, Fernando fended off the duelling pair of George Russell and Oscar Piastri to secure eight valuable points.

F. AlonsoFL: 1:34.726
L. StrollFL: 1:35.798

#18 | Lance Stroll | Race

"It was a difficult race today. Starting from P16 meant we had a compromised strategy and struggled to find any clean air. We also lacked the straight-line speed we needed. I did make some good overtakes at Turn 6 though, so that made for some fun racing. We were hoping to catch Yuki [Tsunoda] for P10, but the soft tyres just didn't have the grip towards the end of the race, so it was disappointing not to finish in the points. We’ll take these learnings into China in a couple of weeks' time."

#14 | Fernando Alonso | Race

"It was a great weekend for me with fifth position in Qualifying yesterday and sixth place in the race. It was one of my best for a while. I think we slightly outperformed our true position here this weekend, but we are executing our races very well this season and scoring good points for the team. Our plan for today worked well and a special thanks for the pitstops which were very impressive, so credit to all of the team for that. We still need to analyse our update package, so we'll have a look at all our data from this weekend in Japan ahead of our return to Shanghai."

Mike Krack | Team Principal

"P6 was the best available to us today and a solid result. The updates we have brought seem to be a positive step and we have been able to finish ahead of our nearest competitor Mercedes and come home with eight points. Fernando drove really well today and the team executed flawless and consistent pitstops. With Lance he was fighting with Tsunoda who started six places ahead of him on the grid after Qualifying. He battled well and made some impressive overtakes in the Esses but unfortunately, we couldn't take the fight to him today. We have a short turnaround now back at the Campus and we look forward to returning to Shanghai and the first Sprint weekend of the season."

Next up

We make our way to the Chinese Grand Prix weekend which takes place between April 19th and April 21st.


  • The team worked overnight to secure new updates on Fernando's car ahead of FP3 following tests conducted on Friday, meaning both cars ran the updated model in Qualifying.

  • Utilising the updates in the third and final practice session, Fernando then recorded the fifth-fastest time in Q3 with Lance in P16.

  • In the first Qualifying session, Lance narrowly missed out on Q2 by qualifying P16, only 0.061 seconds from getting through. Meanwhile, Fernando put in an impressive lap placing him second in Q1.

  • Fernando made it safely into the final section of Qualifying for the fourth time this season. He will start tomorrow's race from the third row of the grid, in fifth place.

#18 | Lance Stroll | Qualifying

"I just didn't have the pace I needed in Qualifying today and we don't yet understand why. I think I was pushing to the limit of what my car was capable of, but I was lacking the speed to get out of Q1. The update package seems to be working on Fernando's AMR24, so we'll take a look this evening to see if there's anything else that could have been impacting my car. There's a lot of work to do ahead of the Grand Prix; we'll have to make the most of any opportunities that come our way tomorrow."


#14 | Fernando Alonso | Qualifying

"I am very happy with fifth position today. It's always a very special experience Qualifying in Suzuka, with the low fuel loads and fresh tyres and everything felt good in the car today. Perhaps it's a little unexpected to be as competitive as we were. Looking back at last year, we were over one second from pole position in Suzuka and now we are only four tenths away, so it seems we are going in the right direction. It's too soon to say whether our updates have made a significant difference, but we'll look at all the data we have. We have usually been faster in Qualifying compared to the Race, so let's see what happens on Sunday."


Mike Krack | Team Principal

"A bittersweet Qualifying in Suzuka. Our target is always to get both cars into Q3. We did not achieve that, and so we need to have a closer look at Lance's AMR24 as the gap between both cars was substantial.

"As the sessions progressed, Fernando managed to get more and more out of the car. We can be pleased with P5.

"The entire team has done a great job to prepare this update package. We worked with discipline, ensuring we ran back-to-back comparison tests yesterday to aid our decisions. I want to thank the team in the garage who stayed late to add the updates to Fernando's car. Suzuka rewards a strong car, so we will see what tomorrow brings. We want to finish with both cars in the points."


  • The team has brought several updates to Suzuka Circuit this weekend, including changes to the floor, the bodywork, and the beam wing.

  • Fernando recorded the seventh-fastest time during the first practice session. Lance ended the session P15, with most of his opening hour of the weekend revolving around aero testing. Both drivers' fastest laps were set on the Soft tyre.

  • FP2 was hit by rain, resulting in the team opting not to run and saving Intermediate tyres for Saturday and Sunday.

#18 | Lance Stroll | Free Practice


"We've got updates on the car here and it's always good to test them out on track. This morning, it was a lot of aero rake running. Then, it was a bit of a slow day with the rain, so we didn't get too many laps today.

"Tomorrow, the focus will be on Qualifying. We have an idea of where we're going to be, but we'll see.

"It's great to be back in Japan in front of the passionate fans. It's a brilliant track to drive with the speed of the corners and flow of the track."

#14 | Fernando Alonso | Free Practice


"It's great to drive around Suzuka, but there's not much more to say today since we didn't get out during FP2 because of the wet weather.

"It's a shame for the fans who come here to support us. They always generate a fantastic atmosphere - hopefully tomorrow and on Sunday we can provide some entertainment.

"It was looking strong in FP1, but today doesn't really count for much. We'll look to optimise everything for tomorrow and Qualifying, and then we'll aim to make the most of that in the race on Sunday."

Japanese GP preview

Racing in the Land of the Rising Sun

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Japanese GP preview

Racing in the Land of the Rising Sun

Read more
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