“It was pretty crazy,” says Stroll who has admitted his injuries are worse than thought. Sebastian Vettel’s former Formula 1 teammate Lance Stroll has revealed more details about his serious bike accident before this season. It could well be that the Aston Martin team will pull their driver from the race and be forced to replace him for the next race.
“I couldn’t move my hands, I couldn’t walk, I broke my toe,” the Canadian told reporters after qualifying for the opening grand prix. He said the first race of the year in Bahrain still seemed “far away” after his accident, “the light at the end of the tunnel was really far away then.”
Stroll missed the pre-season testing in Bahrain after his bike accident. He broke his right wrist in the crash and sprained his left, the 24-year-old reported ahead of the grand prix weekend.
“It was pretty crazy,” he said after his strong eighth place in qualifying on Saturday.
“It’s been exactly two weeks today since my bike accident, twelve days since the operation, I was only released from hospital ten days ago.”
Stroll reveals a further fracture
Only after the Formula 1 qualifying in Bahrain did Lance Stroll come out with the whole truth. When asked, the Aston Martin driver explained that he had broken his right wrist in his bike accident a fortnight ago and his right big toe.
“I broke [my wrist] twelve days ago and also had surgery twelve days ago. But the doctors have given me the all clear. It feels good and I’m managing the pain. I’m just very grateful to be here.” says Stroll.
The injured toe still hurts him “a little bit”, he indicates, but “it’s nothing that limits my driving”, says Stroll. It is “fine”, he says. Probably also because he takes pain-relieving medication.
Stroll feeling better every day…?
Stroll has been shuffling around the paddock in bath slippers for the past few days, looking battered. He was visibly struggling to operate the steering wheel, although race doctors had given him the green light to go ahead.
“Today is the first day I feel like my toe feels good enough to walk on,” Stroll told me, his hands aching in the cockpit.
“In the car it doesn’t hurt unless I bump into some bumpy bits.” Stroll says he feels better every day, though, doing a lot of physiotherapy and cooling his wrists.
“Every day brings an improvement of ten per cent.” says the Canadian optimistically, but should the son of the team owner be worried?
Stroll replaced for next race?
Although the team would never openly admit it, but they will be keeping a firm eye on their Canadian driver during the race this Sunday in Bahrain. Despite a strong qualifying, Stroll will be in severe pain and will need to complete up to two hours of racing. There are a total of 57 laps to be completed in Sunday’s race in Bahrain, for a total distance of 308 kilometres.
If Alonso, his team mate, makes the podium but Stroll struggles with his injuries, the team will be forced to move aside Lance and bring in the reserve driver for the next race in two weeks time, depending on how severe the healing process is affected by racing. Wrist are notoriously tricky and long term injuries to put right.
For team boss Mike Krack, the race distance to be feasible for his driver: “You have to be honest, it’s getting better day by day. So I don’t think it will be a big problem.” The Grand Prix is long, but as a driver you are “less at the limit”, says Krack.
“We also have to conserve tyres, we have to get off the gas earlier. So I think we can manage that.”
Stroll’s teammate Fernando Alonso even finished fifth in qualifying in the powerful Aston Martin. The two-time world champion grinned all over his face.
“To finish on the podium in the very first race, that would be too good to be true,” said the 41-year-old successor to Vettel, who retired at the end of last season. The last time Alonso finished on the podium was at the end of November 2021. For Alpine, the Spaniard had finished third in Qatar.