Lance Stroll has explained why he elected to miss the Singapore Grand Prix race after suffering a “close to 50G” crash in qualifying.
The Aston Martin driver was vying to escape the Q1 drop zone on Saturday evening when he ran wide at the final corner and sustained a high-speed spin into the barriers.
On Sunday morning, Aston Martin announced that it had mutually agreed with Stroll that he would sit out the race.
Despite there remaining doubts that he would compete this weekend, Stroll is ready to race in Japan, underlining that he is feeling “better than I was on Sunday.”
Stroll claims he was in a stable enough condition to race but was concerned about coping with the strenuous demands placed on the drivers across 62 laps in Singapore.
“I was fine I was healthy to race but I wasn’t physically feeling good enough to do Singapore which is the hardest race of the year,” he added.
The Canadian already anticipated after qualifying that his participation in the remainder of the weekend was uncertain.
“I felt it creeping up on me on Saturday night and I knew it wasn’t going to be fun waking up on Sunday morning,” he disclosed.
Stroll reveals the G-force of the crash was “close to 50”, drawing comparisons to the hefty shunt that curtailed his race at the Mugello circuit during the 2020 campaign.
“I had one in Mugello, I’m not sure how big it was but it felt pretty big,” he noted.
“I had a puncture in Mugello a few years ago and went off the track. That one was pretty big, but it was definitely not small!”
Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team. 21.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Preparation Day.
Amid a challenging run that has seen him come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, Stroll has denied that his latest mishap will be mentally tough to move on from.
“I mean for every experience you learn from it and then put it behind you and full focus on the next weekend,” he expressed. “That’s how I’m looking at the whole thing.
“It was definitely frustrating to finish the weekend like that, there was a lot more potential in the car and the weekend, but that was how it ended and now I’m fully focused and looking forward to Suzuka.”
Meanwhile, team-mate Fernando Alonso endured a tough outing, with an incident-riddled race resigning him to finishing last.
Following a trying weekend at Monza, Aston Martin was confident it would be back competing at the sharp end on F1’s return to a high-downforce circuit configuration.
However, the British marque was unable to capitalise on Red Bull’s unexpected slump, with Alonso only qualifying seventh before his race was heavily impacted by damage, a time penalty and a slow pitstop.
Nevertheless, Stroll retorts that the team’s difficulties justified him missing the race, citing Oscar Piastri’s 10-place climb to seventh as evidence he could have scored.
“I mean for me it’s always an opportunity to race on Sunday and try to score some points,” he explained.
“We saw drivers start pretty far back on Sunday and manage to climb through the field and score points. You never know what happens.
“If I had felt fine and really good I would have raced but I really didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do and I really think it would have delayed my recovery to come here and feel 100%.”
Looking ahead to this weekend’s Japanese GP, Stroll is remaining coy on Aston Martin’s hopes of producing a strong result.
The ex-Williams racer is particularly cautious about the excessive drag of its AMR23 car hampering the team on the extensive parts of the track spent at full throttle.
Questioned on if the Suzuka circuit will suit Aston Martin’s package, Stroll responded: “I hope so! I mean it’s always tricky to answer this question, it’s such a tight field now and I think we’re a bit on the draggy side.
“Here there’s still a lot of straights so it is important to be efficient. I’m not sure how our pace will be in Sector 1 in the high-speed corners, but I think if we manage to get the car well balanced and set-up properly and we’re not too draggy then we’ll have a good weekend.
“But like I said, it’s really tough to answer those questions because I don’t think it’s as clear as it was maybe in the past, in previous years about where you would be on certain tracks, because it feels just so tight now.
“We see a lot of teams bounce back and forward depending on where they might have been last weekend and then on a different kind of track the situation changes a lot, so I hope we can be very competitive.”
Source: Read More