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SBNation.com – All Posts: Fernando Alonso believes Lance Stroll’s time is coming


F1 Grand Prix of Canada - Previews
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Talking ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso opened up about teammate Lance Stroll

Two of the biggest Formula 1 storylines this season involve veteran driver Fernando Alonso.

First is his success on the track. Alonso has finished in the points in all seven races this season, with five finishes on the podium. He sits in third place in the Drivers’ standings, now just 18 points behind Sergio Pérez for second place. His success has propelled Aston Martin to third place in the Constructors’ standings. While he did not manage to secure the long-awaited 33rd career victory at his home race in Barcelona, many around F1 believe that win is coming this season.

The second storyline involves his relationship with teammate Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence Stroll. At various times this season, Alonso has been viewed as a “big brother” to his teammate, doling out both advice, and praise, mid-race. There was his break balance suggestion that he passed along to Stroll during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, along with the incredible moment during the Miami Grand Prix when Alonso spotted a pass by Stroll on one of the massive video screens alongside the track, and shared praise for his teammate mid-race.

Alonso has talked at length this season about their relationship, and the work they put in together throughout the week.

“We talk a lot during the weekend,” said Alonso following the Azerbaijan GP. “Already from Thursday, [about] what we both felt here in the past. Also in the strategy meeting – what we can do, what will be the plan for each of the cars and things like that.”

“So if we feel something in the car during the race that we didn’t speak about, and there is something new that can help the other car, normally we communicate to the team,” he added after Azerbaijan. “I know that I will be in the sport for a few more years, but not many, and he will lead the team for the next 10 or 15 years. So I hope I can help Lance as much as I can in the next few years.”

Speaking at the FIA Press Conferences ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix — Stroll’s home race — Alonso talked more about his teammate.

“I think Lance is showing the speed in the car, the commitment, we saw at the beginning of the year as well, racing with a broken hand and things like that,” said Alonso. “You only see when you really have passion for something that you’re doing.”

As for where Stroll needs to improve, in Alonso’s mind it boils down to one word.

Consistency.

“And I think, for him, the most important thing now is to get the consistency, weekend after weekend,” said the veteran driver.

“I think we saw many times in the past, sparks of Lance, in wet qualifying, in races, at the starts, lap one performance, these kinds of things that are outstanding. And then, some other weekends that the result was not coming or you get in a bad loop in Qualifying, so something like that, and then the weekend is a little bit compromised,” he added. “So, I think that consistency is going to be the next step in his career, to be constantly fighting for the top five and then at the end of the year, you see the amount of points that you gain when you get all the weekends right.”

However, Alonso believes that consistency is coming.

“But as I said, with the motivation, the commitment that he has, and the team that Aston Martin is building now, I think it’s a matter of time that this will come.”

While Alonso was confident about the team’s chances this weekend, that confidence did not carry over to his boss’s hopes for the weekend. Lawrence Stroll, speaking at an event in New York City on Wednesday, shared his lofty goals for the weekend.

Seeing both Alonso and his son on the podium.

“Those are exactly the plans. Hopefully get two cars on the podium,” Stroll said on Wednesday. “I’m extremely confident. I believe the car will be very strong around the Montreal circuit, it suits our car well … so I’m really looking forward to going home and really looking forward to a great race.”

As for whether Alonso thought such a goal was attainable, the veteran driver described that as an “aggressive” target.

“You never know. But it is an aggressive target for the weekend,” said Alonso Thursday. “But we know Lawrence, you know, the ambition of him is super high, always. And we will try to make him happy and proud in the home Grand Prix.”

Alonso, Stroll, and the rest of Aston Martin will take their first steps towards achieving that aggressive goal on Friday with the first two practice sessions. Here is how you can watch all the action this weekend.

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