Following his first-lap collision with Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver Brendon Hartley, Lance Stroll said that whilst it wasn’t ideal to go out on the first lap of his home race, “that is how it goes sometimes“.
Stroll made a good start from seventeenth, and having passed both McLaren F1 Team drivers into the first corner looked to be on for a good showing. Things turned sour three corners later though, as a poor exit from turn four left him vulnerable to cars behind – in particular, the Toro Rosso of Brendon Hartley.
Hartley, sensing a speed difference on exit, went for an audacious overtake around the outside of turn five – a normally single-file corner. Unfortunately for both drivers, the all-or-nothing move fell into the nothing category, as Stroll lost control of his car mid-way through turn five and, in trying to save it, steered into the side of Hartley. This squeezed the New Zealander between the barriers and Stroll’s car, launching him into the air and sending both on a trip to the barriers, ending in a heap in front of a grandstand full of Stroll fans. Hartley then went on a further trip to the hospital, but was thankfully released without issue.
This marked the first retirement of the season for the beleaguered Canadian, who has so far scored Williams Martini Racing‘s only points this year.
Commenting on the incident after the race Stroll said that it was the fans he was disappointed for, adding that whilst it wasn’t “ideal” that the two drivers saw their races end just five corners in, “that is how it goes sometimes“.
“First of all I am really disappointed for the fans. I have had a great welcome here for my home race and I wanted to put on a good show for them.
“I had a good start, gained a few positions and got both McLarens, but I had some contact when I overtook them. Then I was side by side with Brendon going into turn five.
“The car got loose on me, I corrected it but there was not much room for both of us, and by the time I had corrected it we had touched.
“It is not ideal, but that is racing, things like that happen on the first lap as we are close and side by side, so that is how it goes sometimes.”