The Lance Stroll incident ‘a billion times worse’ than Qatar GP trainer push

Michelle Foster
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll.

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll adjusts his earplugs as he prepares for the start of the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Lance Stroll may have shoved his trainer in Qatar, but Peter Windsor believes his antics in Austin last season when he took out Fernando Alonso were a “billion times worse”.

With his results dwindling and rumours of his pending exit on the rise, Stroll lost his composure last time out at the Qatar Grand Prix when he failed to make it out of Q1.

Throwing his steering wheel onto the nose of his AMR23 as he angrily clambered out of the car, Stroll went onto shove his trainer Henry Howe as he stormed out of the back of the garage.

Lance Stroll was issued a warning for shoving his trainer

His antics saw him investigated by the FIA’s Compliance Officer Paolo Basarri but, having “received an apology from Lance Stroll”, he was issued with nothing more severe than a written warning.

Former Ferrari team manager Windsor is perplexed as not only does he consider a shove to be nothing out of the ordinary, he wants to know why that caught the FIA’s attention but Stroll taking out Alonso at the 2022 United States Grand Prix didn’t.

Speaking about the “Stroll palaver”, he said in his latest YouTube stream: “Now I have to confess I didn’t see Lance do anything that was remotely out of the ordinary compared to the behaviour of many of the Formula 1 drivers, or Formula 2 or Formula 3 or other drivers that you see around the world, racing drivers.

“I mean, pushing aside, brushing aside his physio is a little bit normal, isn’t it?

“Okay, it’s not Nelson Piquet bashing Eliseo Salazar at the German Grand Prix. As Salazar always said he kept his helmet on so what was Nelson thinking going for the face hitting the guy’s helmet?

“Anyway, pushing wasn’t that bad.

“I think more to the point is why they gave him such a lenient fine, or penalty, after that business last year in Austin when he took Fernando Alonso off on the straight.

“That was a billion times worse than he did after Qatar when he got out of the car. And he just got, I don’t know, a five-place penalty or something pathetic for the next race.

“And here there’s a big thing that he pushed his physio.”

That Sunday in Austin, Stroll jinked right to block Alonso from passing him with the ensuing contact sending the then Alpine driver airborne. The Canadian was given a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Canada. recommends

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Windsor laughs at the FIA’s ‘zero tolerance’ claim

The FIA statement into Stroll’s warning went on to say Stroll had been reminded 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.”

Windsor could only laugh at that as he feels “zero tolerance is zero tolerance”.

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

“I had to laugh actually because the FIA said in describing all this the whole ethics committee and all this stuff are going to be looking at it,” he continued.

“And then they said ‘Well, he has apologised so we will only issue him with a warning but we have a zero-tolerance approach to this’.

“Well, if it’s zero tolerance, why are they only giving him a warning? I mean, what’s that all about? Zero tolerance is zero tolerance.”

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