Lance Stroll provides update on wrist after battling through Friday practice sessions
Lance Stroll has declared his injured wrist “OK” if a little stiff after the Aston Martin driver returned to the cockpit in Friday practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Stroll’s participation in Formula 1’s 2023 season opener was plunged into doubt after he suffered a broken wrist in a cycling accident just before the start of pre-season testing.
His place for the three-day test was taken by Aston Martin reserve driver Felipe Drugovich, but Stroll was passed fit to drive on Thursday and was classified sixth in both sessions in Bahrain on Friday.
And after emerging from the car at the end of the second 60-minute session, Stroll provided an update on his condition.
He said: “I’m feeling alright, a little stiff but overall it was OK in the car today.”
Onboard footage during the second session showed Stroll releasing his grip on the steering wheel and lowering his left hand to effectively push it as he navigated the right-hand hairpin of Turn 1.
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Rather than a sign of strain, however, Stroll claimed the measure was simply to protect his wrist, having admitted on Thursday that he would be competing with a level of discomfort in Bahrain.
“I was just protecting it,” he told media in Bahrain. “It feels a little more comfortable [that way].”
Aston Martin appeared to confirm their status as potential dark horses on Friday as Stroll’s team-mate, two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, was classified P2 in the opening session before topping the FP2 timesheets by almost two tenths from Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
As he prepares to begin his fifth season with the outfit formerly known as Racing Point, Stroll has been left awestruck by the transformation of the Silverstone-based team.
“Incredible. It’s looking amazing,” he said. “Feeling great in the car too so really a top job.”
When asked if Aston Martin could even lock out the front row of the grid in Saturday’s qualifying session, he replied: “Yeah, that would be awesome! We’ll try.”
Also speaking after the session, Alonso claimed that the vision and commitment of Stroll’s father Lawrence, the Aston Martin owner, had made it “a matter of time” before the team emerged as a major force in F1.
However, the two-time World Champion stopped short of suggesting the team are in contention for pole position in Bahrain.
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