Austrian Grand Prix – Williams’ Lance Stroll has been given penalty points for ignoring blue flags during Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring.
Having started from P13, Stroll made good progress initially to move up to P11 in the opening laps in Austria. However, the pace wasn’t really there for Williams and when Stroll pitted on Lap 15 under the Virtual Safety Car, he resumed in P15 and battling with Sauber’s Charles Leclerc.
The tyre life wasn’t really there for Williams either, with Stroll abandoning his single stop strategy on Lap 65 to take on the SuperSoft tyres.
He was later given a ten second time penalty for ignoring blue flags. On track ahead of Sergio Perez’ Force India, Stroll admitted to seeing the blue flags and light panels. He said that his team had told him to try staying unlapped and didn’t tell him to allow the Mexican driver through until a lap later. The stewards investigated, and Stroll was found to have prioritised team instructions rather than the regulations. He was given the penalty and three points on his superlicence, taking him to a total of four for the current 12 month period.
“I thought we could do better today.” said a downcast Stroll afterwards. “Looking where we were in qualifying, I hoped we could potentially fight with some of the other teams, but unfortunately today was kind of the same story but a different day. I had a decent start, gained some positions, but from there it was just survival and we were really slow to the end as we struggled with pace. We were struggling with tyres, temperatures and everything and couldn’t really do anything with our strategy today.”