Fernando Alonso raced to an impressive 99th career pole in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday before heaping praise on Lance Stroll’s team, describing him as “my hero”.
The 41-year-old Spaniard, a two-time world champion who took a two-year break from Formula One before returning in 2021, finished an impressive third for Aston Martin behind the Red Bulls are double world champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Starting from fifth place on the grid, he had a poor start, but bounced back with a brilliant drive 22 years after he made his Formula One debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
“First of all, I congratulate my partner Lance, twelve days ago, he had surgery and now he is fighting here with everyone, it’s amazing for the team,” the said Alonso, his partner who finished sixth on Sunday.
He said it was not true that Aston Martin, which finished 12th and 17th in last year’s Bahrain race, produced the second fastest car in the opening race.
“It was a very good result,” he said.
He also said that Stroll’s strength and determination to race, just two weeks after breaking both wrists and a broken finger legs in a pre-season cycling event, it got the spirits up.
“He’s my hero! If you saw his arm and legs, you’d think he couldn’t run. He’s amazing and it’s inspiring to see his passion and motivation. He deserves a podium. well as soon as possible.”
Alonso’s best finish was just second in 122 races and came in his first outing with Aston Martin since moving from Alpine to replace four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.
“Obviously, I like to start before the Red Bulls and Ferraris and used our speed, but we didn’t start well and so I had to pass cars on the track.
“It means something more fun and more adrenaline for me for sure. Hopefully, everyone had fun. We did! Let’s have fun together.”
Stroll, the son of billionaire Canadian team owner Lawrence Stroll, said he was in pain in the final lap.
“Besides the pain, it was fun, but I tried to get to the end for the result,” he said.
“Considering everything that happened two weeks ago, I couldn’t move. Ten days ago, I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t move with both arms because of the medicine. oysters
“I didn’t think I’d be here now – it’s amazing to get these points and it’s a great start to the season.”
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