Bahrain Grand Prix – Lance Stroll has been confirmed as fit to race this weekend after breaking his wrist less than two weeks ago.
Earlier today Aston Martin confirmed that Stroll would be back with the team for the season opening round in Bahrain after a bike accident a week and a half ago saw him forced to sit out testing while he focused on his recovery.
The Canadian driver came off his bike during training, breaking his right wrist and hurting his left, that meant he needed surgery to have screws fitted onto his right hand and after only four days he was able to remove his cast and start physiotherapy.
“Feeling pretty good,” Stroll said as he returned to the paddock today. “It was a busy week just getting myself back in shape to be here. Just really, really happy to be here and looking forward to the weekend. It was an eventful week, for sure.
“[It was] just some minor surgery on my right wrist. And my left one, I banged it up a little bit. It was just pretty… yeah, painful bike accident. Just came off the bike and ate it pretty hard. That’s it and just basically went all out to get myself back into shape, to get back in the car. The doctor was incredible, my physio was unbelievable, and thanks to them I’m here in Bahrain.”
Stroll’s recovery was closely monitored and after daily reviews and testing in the simulator, his doctor’s signed him off to get back in the car to start the season.
“We turned up the steering strength,” Stroll explained, “and I felt good winding on the lock, going over bumps, all those things. It hurts a bit, but it feels good, it feels solid. Nothing I haven’t had before. Nothing that’s going to stop me driving.”
“In every sport, we’re sometimes in a bit of discomfort. If I felt it was not smart or there was a risk, or I felt my bones were not ready, I wouldn’t do it. F1 is a long season, it’s 23 races, it’s not all about being here in Bahrain. But I feel confident, doctors feel confident, so here I am.”
However, Aston Martin do have two back up plans in the event that the Free Practice sessions tomorrow do turn out to be too much too soon for the recovering Canadian. Both of the team’s reserve drivers – Felipe Drugovich, the current F2 champion who took Stroll’s place in a couple of the last week’s test sessions, and Stoffel Vandoorne, the reigning Formula E champion who drove alongside Fernando Alonso at McLaren in 2017 and 2018 – will be in Bahrain and ready to take over should Stroll feel he needed more time to heal.