Fernando Alonso has defended Lance Stroll’s performance struggles and is looking to help his Canadian team-mate escape his current slump.

While Alonso still holds a slight chance of second in the Drivers’ standings, Stroll has failed to score points since the summer break.

After an impressive start to the 2023 campaign, Aston Martin emerged as Red Bull’s closest competitor in the early stages of the current Formula 1 campaign.

Alonso has picked up seven podiums this season, six of which came in the first half of the season. But Stroll has been unable to match his team-mate’s performances, managing a best Sunday result of fourth in Melbourne, the third round of the championship.

While Aston Martin have seen a decline in performance owing to “side effects” from a sizeable upgrade package that arrived in Canada, the team has been unable to reacquire its early season form.

Regardless of Aston Martin’s performance slump, Stroll enters the United States Grand Prix weekend a massive 136 points adrift of his team-mate and has failed to score points since Belgium. The Canadian has also failed to escape Q1 in the last four rounds.

“We are all helping him. I’m trying to do my best as well,” Alonso said when asked if there is any advice he can pass on to Stroll to address his struggles with the AMR-23.

“My part, if I find something in the car that I feel more comfortable, I’m obviously listening to all the debriefs because we are together in the same room, whatever difficulty that he is expressing, I’m trying to remember what could have been a help for me in the past or in setup or whatever.

“We are working very close together to find the right path for the team and try to score points with both cars. I think he’s been extremely unlucky with some situations.”

Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23 leads team mate Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23.
16.06.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Practice Day.
– www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Price / XPB Images

Alonso is one of three full-time drivers yet to retire from a grand prix in 2023, but Stroll has not been afforded the same fortune.

“I think the pace and the speed is not that far off when everything goes normally. Like in the race in Qatar, we were within a tenth of a second when he was doing this tremendous comeback from 17th to ninth.

“In Suzuka, he had the rear wing failure. So all this is just hitting your confidence, you know, because it’s like in football, when you win two or three matches, everything goes perfect. When you lose two or three matches, you start getting stressed and you try to deliver the job in the next one.”

Speculation over Stroll’s future mounted over the course of the Qatar Grand Prix weekend; however, Aston Martin has firmly denied talk of him being replaced.

Alonso insists that Stroll needs a reset, and the Spaniard hopes that, for the 24-year-old’s sake, it comes this weekend in Austin.

“We need a clean weekend. We need something. Qualifying especially is the most intense part of the weekend.

“With Q1 being so tight, if you have anything that affects those laps, then the race weekend is compromised when you start at the back.  So we just need a clean weekend and hopefully this one is the starting point.”

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