Lance Stroll has joked that he owes Charles Leclerc a beer for not blaming him over their Lap 1 collision at the Australian Grand Prix. Leclerc had attempted to overtake Stroll into Turn 3 but made contact with the Aston Martin, resulting in Leclerc spinning off the track and ending up beached in the gravel trap. Following his retirement from the race, the Monegasque said that he was “not blaming it on Lance” and felt that the tangle was a “racing incident”. When informed of Leclerc’s comments, Stroll told media, including : “Oh, that was nice of him. I’ll buy him a beer tonight!” Stroll on Leclerc collision Stroll admits that the incident was “unfortunate” for Leclerc. “Honestly it was a racing incident, I think,” the Canadian continued. “This track is narrow, going into Turn 3 I was braking in the middle of him and Fernando [Alonso], I didn’t move and then I kind of got sandwiched and then we made contact. “It was unfortunate for him and lucky for me that I didn’t pick up damage.” Drama at penultimate restart While Leclerc suffered an immediate DNF in Melbourne, Stroll stayed in the running but feared that he had lost out on a potential podium result at the penultimate race restart on Lap 57, when he went off track at Turn 3. However, with the order going back to Lap 56 at the final race restart, Stroll was back up to P4. “Sadness, disappointment, to then finally crossing the finish line very happy with the result,” Stroll explained of the latter stages of the race. “I was pretty heartbroken in Turn 3 with a couple of laps to go, I picked up a front-right lock defending from Carlos [Sainz] and thought I threw away the podium. “[The penultimate restart was] really tough. The tyres were just ice cold and I already felt it coming out of Turn 2, just picking up the power, big snap. “Then heading to Turn 3, I was defending from Carlos who was on my outside and then I was on the dirty part of the track, and as soon as I touched the brake, the front-right just started locking up and there was no slowing down the car. “[I was] lucky to even bring it back to be honest, because I saw yesterday Checo [Sergio Perez] got beached there, so we were lucky to get the car back.”

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