Lance Stroll, Aston Martin driver and son of team owner is forced to withdraw from Formula 1 winter testing due to injury.
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll will not take part in the 2023 F1 winter test. The Canadian was involved in an accident while cycling in Spain. The Aston Martin team has confirmed ahead of the 2023 winter test that its starting driver, Canadian Lance Stroll, has withdrawn from the pre-season test (February 23-25) following a cycling accident in Spain.
“During pre-season training on a bike in Spain, Lance Stroll was involved in a minor accident and suffered injuries that will mean he will not be taking part in pre-season testing in Bahrain,” the Aston Martin team said in a short statement on Monday.
“However, Lance expects to make a speedy recovery and return to driving. His ability to return to the cockpit will be assessed on a daily basis and the team will issue an update ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.”
“The team wishes Lance a speedy recovery and looks forward to his usual energy and commitment to the team.”
Stroll claims no big deal
Lance Stroll for his part said he is feeling good after the accident and is “determined” to get back behind the wheel as soon as possible, as the 2023 season begins on March 5 with the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“I had an unfortunate accident while training on my bike in preparation for the season,” said the Canadian.
“I am determined to get back behind the wheel and I am excited about the upcoming season with the team. I’m motivated to bounce back as quickly as possible after this setback.”
Reserve drivers on stand by
The Aston Martin team has two reserve drivers this season – Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne and Brazilian Felipe Drugovich. Vandoorne is unavailable because he is currently in South Africa preparing for this weekend’s E-Prix.
Coincidentally, Lance Stroll’s current Aston Martin team-mate, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, was also involved in a cycling accident on the eve of the 2021 F1 winter test.
The Spaniard – who was riding for the Alpine team at the time – suffered a fractured upper jaw, which required corrective surgery.
Alonso set to benefit
Fernando Alonso is now expected to take up the slack and drive the car for most of the three day test, though the team may elect to give Drugovitch some time behind the wheel.
Felipe Drugovich, shared on Instagram that he is having a day at the Aston Martin simulator, as part of his reserve driver duties.
Bahrain race replacement
The team will be assessing their options should Stroll not be fit for the Formula One season opener which begins a week on Friday.
Vandoorne would be available to replace Stroll for the race weekend in Bahrain and given his previous F1 experience appears the natural choice to maximise Aston Martin’s points scoring opportunities.
The team could opt for Drugovitch to run in FP1 at the Sakhir circuit which would complete half of their 2023 obligation to run young drivers in FP1.
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Stroll, cycling accident in Spain.
Vandoorne may have previous F1 racing experience, unlike Drugovich, but that’s from the pre-2022 aero cycle, which minimizes the usefulness & up-to-date relevance.
In this regard, Mick would be a more suitable option for substitution.