Lance Stroll says his United States Grand Prix was compromised by front-wing damage sustained in his early collision with Nicholas Latifi.
But the decision was taken not to have the Aston Martin’s nose replaced as the pit-stop would have cost more time than he ended up losing.
Ultimately, Stroll was classified in 12th place, one position higher than he had started, although he fell behind his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who lined up 18th due to an engine penalty but improved eight positions to claim the final points-paying berth.
The Canadian driver was hit by his compatriot Latifi’s Williams entering the opening corner at the Circuit of The Americas and ended up facing the wrong way before continuing – a second stroke of bad luck that weekend as yellow flags waved at the wrong time from his perspective in qualifying meant he was knocked out in Q1.
His P13 grid slot was only down to Vettel, Fernando Alonso and George Russell taking grid penalties and starting behind him.
“A lot of things didn’t go our way this weekend,” Stroll told the official Formula 1 website.
“It was unfortunate at Turn 1, we got hit, so that wasn’t ideal, and then we did what we could to recover but not our day.
“The car didn’t feel good after the contact, there was a lot of damage on the front wing and stuff. I don’t know how much damage there was, we’ve got to look into it.”
A battle against the odds. ⚔️
Started P13, dropped to P19 after a collision and, despite the heavy damage he picked up, he fought his way back up to P12. @lance_stroll, you did us proud.#MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/ACo9Gt3UhG
— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) October 25, 2021
Stroll, who will turn 23 years of age on Friday, added to formel1.de: “It was difficult to catch up after I was hit at Turn 1 and fell backwards. The damage affected us throughout the race.”
Asked why he had not gone into the pits for a change of front wing, he added: “We would have lost so much time and it was still drivable.
“We had hoped something might happen up front. But it was just one of those races. On a normal weekend we could certainly have gotten a good result.”
In what has largely been a highly disappointing season for Aston Martin, the team are seventh in the Constructors’ Championship and showing no signs they can catch AlphaTauri, 32 points ahead of them in sixth, over the remaining five races.
From Stroll’s individual perspective, he is 13th in the Drivers’ standings, immediately behind Vettel who has accumulated 10 points more than his younger colleague.
Excellent Aston Martin recoveries go almost unrewarded
Sebastian Vettel came from the back to take a point, while Lance Stroll rose back up to P12 after a spin - a small return for the quality of their drives.