Formula 1

Lance Stroll: “I did all I could to avoid contact but, unfortunately, my race was over”

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Credit: Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team

Lance Stroll will take a five-place grid penalty in the Belgian Grand Prix after finding himself involved in a first lap, first corner incident with Charles Leclerc at the Hungaroring on Sunday.

The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team racer had made a decent start in the wet conditions but locked up his brakes heading into turn one.  Stroll attempted to cut the corner but slid deep and into the sidepod of Scuderia Ferrari’s Leclerc, who in turn turned around Daniel Ricciardo.

Stroll’s left front suspension was damaged in the incident, and he was forced to pull over and retire from the race, much to the frustration of the Canadian and to the anger of the stewards who deemed him fully responsible for the crash and handed him the grid penalty for Spa-Francorchamps.

“It is really frustrating to have to retire so early in the race,” said Stroll.  “Once the incident at the front of the field happened, I took the line to the inside to try and avoid making contact, but I locked up under braking.

“As soon as that happened, I knew I would not make the corner because it was so slippery and tricky out there. I did all I could to avoid contact but, unfortunately, my race was over.

“We will take the break to regroup and we want to come back stronger in Belgium.”

Aston Martin Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer says Stroll’s time will come, with the American feeling the Canadian was unlucky heading into turn one to get caught up in the accident.

“Lance was unlucky, for he made a truly sensational start, passing a lot of cars, including Sebastian, and, had he not been involved in a Turn One shunt, we may well have had two drivers on the podium today,” said Szafnauer.

“However, faced with a tangle of cars in front of him, Lance was left with nowhere to go, and that was that. But his time will come, mark my words.”

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