Aston Martin has made ‘the difficult decision’ to withdraw Lance Stroll from the Singapore Grand Prix after a harrowing accident during qualifying left the car in ruins.
Stroll lost control of his vehicle at a blistering 150 mph in the final corner, resulting in a catastrophic collision with the barriers. This incident not only caused extensive damage to his car but also necessitated a 30-minute repair operation on the track.
Fortunately, Stroll emerged from the wreckage unscathed, but he was unable to participate in the race due to the car’s condition and his residual physical discomfort.
During Saturday evening’s qualifying session, Lance Stroll’s car suffered a dramatic loss of control as he navigated the treacherous 150 mph final corner. The vehicle hurtled into the trackside barriers at considerable speed, leaving a trail of debris in its wake. The impact was so severe that it necessitated substantial repairs to both the car and the damaged barriers.
Stroll miraculously emerged from the wreckage physically unharmed, a testament to the advancements in Formula 1 safety measures and the effectiveness of his car’s construction.
However, Lance was cleared of any medical impediment not to race after examination.
Official Decision to Withdraw
Aston Martin, in consultation with Lance Stroll, made the choice to withdraw the driver from the Singapore Grand Prix. This decision was reached due to the extensive repairs required to make the car raceworthy again and Stroll’s residual physical discomfort following the high-impact crash.
In an official statement, the team declared, “The team faces a monumental task in repairing the car today, and Lance is still experiencing soreness after such a high-impact collision.”
“The whole team are relieved that Lance was able to step out of the car after yesterday’s accident — however, he is still feeling the after-effects of such a high-impact crash.
“Our priority now is that he makes a full and speedy recovery.
“Together, we have decided that he will sit out this evening’s race and instead focus fully on returning to the cockpit for next weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.”
Will this be Lance Stroll’s last Grand Prix weekend?
Other teams wouldn’t bat an eyelid rebuilding a car after a big accident such as Stroll’s in Qualifying, and with the Canadian’s condition deemed fit to race after the crash one has to question if his motivation to compete in F1 is still present.
Indeed throughout this summer such questions have been raised around the paddock and pundits have made speculations that Lance could well soon fall on his sword for his father’s team to flourish after such huge investments.
With his head down most weekends in 2023, could this crash mark the end of Lance Stroll’s adventure in F1?
Are Lance’s days numbered?
Ex-WEC driver Richard Bradley recently suggested that Yuki Tsunoda could be the man to drive for Aston Martin in the future. Nico Rosberg also sees the Canadian’s F1 future in jeopardy.
“I’m not quite sure what’s happened to Lance Stroll because he’s a very good driver,” the 2016 world champion told Sky Sports’ F1 podcast, adding: “At the beginning of the season he showed he could keep up with Fernando. Now the prospect of staying has changed…”
Aston Martin need to switch drivers soon
“I don’t think Aston can afford to have a driver so far away from Alonso in the long term. Either Lance gets back to where he can and should be, or they have to worry about changing the second driver,” explained the former Mercedes F1 champion driver.
“Alonso also needs to be pushed. The set-up work is much better with two drivers at the front. It is a completely different dynamic, so it is very important to have two drivers who are very fast,” Rosberg concludes.
Stroll replaced by Felipe Drugovich
If this weekend or the end of the season turns out to be the last for Stroll, almost certainly he’ll be replaced by the young Brazilian and reigning F2 champion, Felipe Drugovich.
The young talent has been present at all of the F1 races with Aston Martin this year and were Aston Martin not to promote him to Lance Stroll’s seat for 2024 they risk losing him given that over the past nine years each and every F2 title winner has found a seat in Formula One – except Drugovitch.
Recent paddock rumours have suggested Lance Stroll is ready to quit Formula One and pursue another avenue which is his passion.
This of course allows his father Lawrence to save face and not be forced into sacking his son as maybe the next potential “Ayrton Senna” is given his chance in 2024 to prove his worth.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 16, 2023