FIA reach verdict on Lance Stroll’s Qatar GP garage push on trainer

Thomas Maher
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll at the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, June 2023.

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll at the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, June 2023.

The FIA opened an investigation into Lance Stroll’s push on his trainer after qualifying for the Qatar Grand Prix.

Stroll found himself subject to an investigation from the FIA’s Compliance Officer Paolo Basarri following last weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix, as the Canadian found himself making headlines for the wrong reasons in Friday qualifying.

The Aston Martin driver was knocked out of qualifying in Q1, climbing from his car down in 17th, at the same time as teammate Fernando Alonso went third-quickest in the session.

Lance Stroll pushes personal trainer

With Stroll clambering angrily from his car back into the garage, his trainer Henry Howe directed him to go to the front of the garage – an instruction Stroll appeared to either miss or ignore.

Stroll and Howe headed to the passageway at the back of the garage, where TV cameras witnessed the Canadian driver shoving someone angrily out of his path – Howe being the obvious person in his way.

Shortly after, speaking to the media, Stroll merely stared in discontent into the TV cameras as he gave a monosyllabic interview to F1’s Greg Stuart before storming off.

The FIA confirmed after the weekend that their Compliance Officer would be looking into the incident, and have now reached a decision on how to proceed.

“We can confirm that the FIA Compliance Officer has received an apology from Lance Stroll,” said the governing body in a statement on Friday, “regarding his actions during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix.

“The Compliance Officer has noted this apology and issued a written warning, reminding Lance of his responsibilities as a competitor bound by the FIA Code of Ethics and other FIA ethical and conduct guidelines set forth by the sporting regulations.

“The FIA maintains a zero-tolerance stance against misconduct and condemns any actions that may lead to physical harassment.”

Stroll can consider himself lucky to have avoided any further sanctions, with the FIA not looking favourably on the last time an F1 driver shoved someone in the pits. In 2018, at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen pushed Esteban Ocon around after the pair had collided to cost Verstappen a chance at victory – the Dutch driver was given two days of community service with the FIA as punishment.

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