Lance Stroll will not be driving at the F1 2023 pre-season test in Bahrain following a biking incident while training.
Stroll faces a huge challenge in the campaign ahead as he goes up against his new team-mate, two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, but his preparations have already met a obstacle which is far from ideal.
Just days away from the pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit, Aston Martin confirmed that Stroll had suffered a “minor training incident” in Spain which means he will not participate in the test.
Stroll is expected to make a swift and full recovery, but the three-day Bahrain test ultimately arrives too soon for him to be ready to go.
“I’ve had an unfortunate accident whilst training on my bike in preparation for the season,” said Stroll as he explained the incident.
“I am determined to get back in the car and I am excited about the season ahead with the team. I am motivated to bounce back from this setback as quickly as possible.”
For Stroll to miss the entirety of testing will undoubtedly leave him going into the F1 2023 season on the back foot, considering that this is the only testing period before the drivers head into action for FP1 at the season-opener in Bahrain.
It is also quite an eerie incident, as recently at the launch of Aston Martin’s 2023 challenger, the AMR23, Alonso had been talking about this being his first normal pre-season preparation since his F1 return due to a past cycling accident which he suffered in Switzerland.
That happened ahead of the 2021 season and left Alonso needing surgery on a broken jaw, while in the following pre-season he had the plates removed from his face.
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Speaking to media, including PlanetF1.com, Alonso said: “About the physical aspect, yes, I’m fitter than ever. But I think it’s just the way you know yourself, the way you train.
“The last two years, the winters – they have been difficult. In 2021 I had a bicycle accident, I could not move for three weeks and last winter also had to remove the plates and things from the face.
“So this was really the first winter that I could do a normal preparation. So I’m happy.”