Williams Martini Racing driver Lance Stroll believes that the timing of the safety car cost him points, as had he pitted one lap later he could have lost less time.
Stroll waited until lap thirty-one to make a pit stop – just one lap before the safety car was released to collect the field following an almighty incident involving Marcus Ericsson at turn one. Had he pitted one lap later, he argues, he could have pitted under that safety car and lost less time relative to competitors – potentially seeing him score points.
He eventually crossed the line in thirteenth – a shade over four seconds behind tenth-placed Pierre Gasly.
Speaking after the race he said he was unlucky to have missed out on the chance to pit behind the safety car, though was pleased that he could see cars ahead of him at the finish.
“At the start it was pretty close, especially for Sergey, who was in front of me starting from the pitlane. It was a different experience!
“I think I was unlucky and our race could have been a lot better, as I pitted on lap 31, one lap before the safety car.
“This was after I did a good stint on the prime, so it is a bit of a shame as if I had done another lap I would probably have gained some time by stopping under the safety car and we could maybe have finished in the points.
“Anyway, that is luck in motorsport and it is a matter of hit or miss. The rest was okay and we were following the train today. At the end I could see some cars ahead of me not too far away, so that was good.“