At the start of 2022's new ground effect era, Aston Martin's launch specification car proved unsuited to the new rules.

Just like Mercedes, the team had anticipated producing a lot of downforce when the car was close to the ground, but it found that porpoising prevented it from being able to run as low as it would like.

To avoid the bouncing, the team had to raise the ride height a lot, and that meant it sacrificed a lot of performance.

The problems prompted Aston Martin to chase an alternative concept, which it duly delivered to its car at the Spanish Grand Prix.

That helped put the team on a path to recovery, as it managed to lift its form to finish seventh in the constructors' championship.

But, perhaps more importantly, the team had made enough of a step to convince Fernando Alonso to join it for 2023.

Looking back at the way Aston Martin responded to its early season headaches, Stroll suggests that, a few years ago, the same situation would have been impossible for the team to salvage and it would have been left pegged to the bottom of the standings.

Lance Stroll at Abu Dhabi GP 2022

"I think the team has evolved a lot," he told

"At the factory, with the way that things are done, and how the car's developed, I think a couple of years ago, we would have been in a much more difficult position to dig ourselves out of the hole that we were in at the beginning of the year.

"Now, I think big changes were made. We had a fully different car in Barcelona, and then upgrades from there. Then, all of a sudden, we find ourselves in some races in a much better position than before.

"I don't think that we would have been in that position a couple of years ago, to dig ourselves out of that hole. So, I think in that sense, we've made huge progress.

"The whole approach as a team, we're bonding much better than we used to in the past.

"I think we're integrating much better than in the past. And I think back at the factory, the whole work ethic, communication, the way that everything is done, I think we've come a long way from where we were as Racing Point."

While impressed with how Aston Martin turned its season around, Stroll believes that the team still needs to make more progress in improving its consistency, as its form fluctuated quite a lot over the second half of the year.

"We became much more competitive during the season, and we put ourselves in a position at many races to fight for points and challenging to get into Q3, and all those things where we were just not even close to that at the beginning of the year.

"In that regard, it's been really positive. But we still have those odd races, like, going from Austin to Mexico, one week later, where we were probably the fourth-fastest team, I would say in Texas before we had all our issues, to the ninth/tenth-fastest team in Mexico. And then in Sao Paulo, again, we were somewhere in the middle.

"I think we still have those weekends where we kind of don't know why we're not, for whatever reason, as competitive as other weekends. We have ideas but we are not 100 percent sure.

"I think that, going forward, that has to be the target: to be more competitive more often at different kinds of tracks: high efficiency, low downforce, high downforce. I guess that's the focus.

"But when I look at where we came from at the beginning of the year, I think it's been a big step in the right direction."

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