Williams Martini Racing driver Lance Stroll says he had a race to forget in Japan on Sunday, after an error at the start forced him into an early pit stop, before a puncture ended his race prematurely.
The Canadian was lucky not to hit Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo, who was not far behind the Williams driver when the puncture occurred. Stroll did well to keep the car out of the Australian’s path however, and was able to run the FW40 off track and onto the grass, where he eventually parked up.
“I had a really good start and was up to 11th, but then I made a mistake in Turn 11, hit Magnussen and I think something went on the car.
“I had to box really early as I thought something was broken or I had a puncture. Then I had a long stint on the soft tyre, working my way back up, but we were out of the points at that stage.
“I then felt there was something a bit strange at the front end, and then had a puncture. It is always surprising when you get a puncture, as it is very much unexpected and unfortunate at the same time.
“I was very close to Ricciardo when I came back on the circuit, but I managed to brake without anything happening.”
After such an eventful Japanese Grand Prix, Stroll is now looking ahead to the US race in two weeks’ time, where he hopes a stronger performance will be on the cards.
“Now we just have to turn the page, as it wasn’t a lucky weekend for me, and look forward to Austin.”