The Aston Martin teammates touched on Turn 4 of the opening lap as they each battled one of the Mercedes cars - fortunately, the incident did not halt what became an outstanding race for the team.

Stroll was driving two weeks after a cycling accident, which ruled him out of the Bahrain test, and left him needing surgery on his wrists and unable to walk.

Where do the big three stand ahead of the F1 season opener? | Bahrain F1 2023

“It was really terrible timing,” Stroll said about the incident with Alonso.

“I was going on the inside of George Russell, trying to stay in front of him. I braked late, Fernando went for the cutback on Lewis Hamilton. He really stopped the car in the middle of Turn 4 and we just came together.

“Really horrible timing for all those things to happen with the great car we had today.

“Very fortunately we both saved it and went onto have a good race.

“My wrists were on fire after that, I was shedding a few tears after that one.

“Most importantly we both stayed on track and went onto have a good race - dodged a bullet, for sure.”

Alonso finished on the podium after a brilliant overtake of Hamilton, and Stroll finished sixth.

“I thought it was George,” Alonso said about his early clash with his new teammate.

“I saw the replay on TV later and it was Lance. He had a very good start because he was alongside me in Turn 4, we got lucky, two cars didn’t have any problems and we could continue.”

Stroll revealed how close he came to missing the opening race of 2023: “It was a terrible time to crash on a bicycle and doctors were telling me, ‘Maybe Australia, maybe Baku…’

“The light at the end of the tunnel was very hard to see but I had an incredible medical team that helped me along the way.”

Aston Martin, rumoured throughout the winter to be the team to watch in 2023, justified the hype with their stunning results on Sunday in Bahrain.