Lance Stroll missed out on a full day of practice at Monza with Aston Martin confirming that a “fuel system problem” wrote-off his FP2 session.
Stroll did not turn a wheel in the opening practice session ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, having given up his seat to Aston Martin reserve Felipe Drugovich to satisfy one of the team’s two rookie sessions required for the F1 2023 campaign.
But when Stroll returned to the cockpit for FP2, his session was over before he could even put a time on the board, parking his AMR23 as he lost all power coming out of the Ascari chicane.
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Lance Stroll now “bit on the backfoot”
All hopes that Stroll could return to the session faded when Aston Martin went to work taking the stricken AMR23 apart back in the garage, with the team reporting that a fuel system problem had ended his session.
And when speaking to media including PlanetF1.com after Friday practice, Aston Martin’s performance director Tom McCullough confirmed that was the case.
“It was a tough day really overall, because we didn’t run with one car in Free Practice 2, so that is a shame,” he said.
“So we’re a bit on the backfoot there. It’s a fuel system problem, and unfortunately it was big enough that we had to take the engine off the car to sort it out.
“It should all be fine for tomorrow, it’s just a bit frustrating that when he sits out the Free Practice 1 session and he doesn’t get to do any laps, he’s a bit on the backfoot for the rest of the weekend.”
There was still some good work done on that side of the garage though, McCullough praising the display from Drugovich in FP1.
“Felipe did a great job,” McCullough declared. “We got all the test plans done this morning, obviously only limited a little bit on sets of tyres [with the Alternative Tyre Allocation], but that’s the same for everyone.”
While Stroll’s team-mate Fernando Alonso featured in the top 10 in both sessions, the Aston Martin team appear to have work to do if they are to challenge Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren in the pursuit of pole.
0.361 seconds covered the top six come the end of FP2, featuring the Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren drivers, with Alonso then another three-and-half-tenths off the pace.