Knowing full well that winning will be difficult during the Italian Grand Prix, Aston Martin and Lance Stroll opted for an aggressive approach for Friday’s start at Monza. The results are currently incomplete after the first two free practice sessions.
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Green cars are struggling this season in qualifying. Therefore, the decision in favor of a rear wing with very low aerodynamic support was taken, to increase the chances of overtaking in the event of a start at the back of the peloton.
In the morning, however, Stroll took 15th place with a time of 1 minute 23.688 s, 1.278 s from Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), in front. Meanwhile, Nyck de Vries, who replaced Sebastian Vettel in the U23 test program, settled for 20th with a more conservative rear wing.
In the afternoon, the Quebecer achieved only the 18th fastest time, 2.121 s behind Carlos Sainz (Ferrari). Vettel, also with a razor-style rear wing, did better, beating him by 54 hundredths of a second in 17th place.
“It was very difficult today to adjust the settings with this low configuration, admitted Stroll according to the press release from his team. The list of things to do was full and we did a lot of laps. We will see where we can improve before qualifying.”
However, it would be premature to single out a few points right away as engineers will have several hours to analyze the data and finalize the settings. In addition, six drivers will receive penalties on the starting grid, which should serve Aston Martin well.
Stroll is also hoping for a different qualifying session than the last one on Italian soil. Often this almost turns into a game of chess as all riders try to position themselves during the heat to take advantage of the drag effect on the straight.
“Interestingly, the draft doesn’t seem to be as strong with this generation of cars compared to last year, which could change qualifying dynamics a bit.”