Lance Stroll has been told to fire a huge warning to Fernando Alonso as they battle for supremacy at Aston Martin. Stroll had competed for the No.1 seat with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel for the last two years before the German retired and was replaced by Alonso.
Big improvements to Aston Martin’s car during the off-season has put them in podium contention and Alonso has finished third in the opening three races this season. Meanwhile, Stroll has been recovering from a pre-season cycling accident which hampered his preparations heading into the season-opener in Bahrain – finishing sixth.
An engine problem ended Stroll’s hopes in Saudi Arabia before he finished fourth behind Alonso at the Australian Grand Prix earlier this month. The 24-year-old has qualified slower than Alonso in each of the three races and risks playing second fiddle to his experienced team-mate.
Former world champion and now F1 pundit Damon Hill says that Stroll needs to make his ambition clear to become No.1 driver at Aston Martin this season and effectively ending Alonso’s career. Hill told the F1 Nation podcast: “It [form] has to be maintained, sustained over time – it’s no good, just a blip, a one-off event.
“So he’d have to make it his ambition this year. He’d have to set his goal as ending Fernando Alonso’s career. Now that sounds brutal, but that’s what George Russell is trying to do [against Lewis Hamilton].
“That’s what Nico Hulkenberg is trying to do with (Kevin) Magnussen – you have to establish yourself as the undisputed king, number one in that team.” However, after an impressive start to the season Alonso has no immediate plans on retiring and fired a warning towards podium rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
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Instead of having thoughts of retirement, Alonso told Bang & Olufsen’s YouTube channel that he believes a third world title is possible. He said: “That’s why I keep racing obviously. You know the challenge is big, you know that you need to obviously overcome some difficulties and some top teams that are now on top of the sport.
“But year, I race every, every day and I train every day thinking that the third title is possible. I’m still fresh, I’m still motivated, I still enjoy every single day. I wake up in the morning and I’m happy of what I’m doing, so yeah there is a few more years I think more for me and hopefully with a title contender in the future.”
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