‘I could have won the race’ – Stroll left with mixed feelings after podium finish in Sakhir GP
Lance Stroll secured a second career podium and helped Racing Point to a double-podium finish in the Sakhir Grand Prix, but the young Canadian said he – rather than team mate Sergio Perez – “could have won the race” in Bahrain but for a mistake after he stopped for new tyres.
Stroll’s race-defining mistake came after his sole pit stop of the race, on Lap 42, when he ran wide at Turn 1 to let Esteban Ocon through, and then locked up heavily at Turn 4 to let team mate Perez past. Ocon ended up finishing second and Perez first, which left Stroll ruing his mistake.
“Yeah, I mean, amazing race for the team,” he said. “A part of me is a little bit disappointed; I think I could have won the race.
“I went a little bit deep on my pit exit after my pit stop and Esteban managed to get by me. Then I just didn’t have the pace. I locked up – Sergio went by,” he said.
“I didn’t have the pace to overtake Esteban, so I got held up there a little bit. All in all, very happy for the team. I mean, it’s an unbelievable result and first and third is exactly what we needed this weekend for the championship,” he concluded.
Asked to explain his mistake further, Stroll conceded that it was a ‘miscalculation’ that led him to let Perez by with that Turn 4 lock-up.
“I think being in the fight with Esteban and Sergio, I was late on the DRS actually out of [Turn] 3, so Sergio got a good run on me and then I was defending and I just miscalculated it, braked a little bit late and locked up,” he said.
But the 2021 Racing Point driver had kind words for his team mate Perez, who took a maiden Grand Prix victory after Mercedes’ crucial double-stack pit stop went wrong for George Russell and Valtteri Bottas on Lap 62.
“One of those things but in the end I’m super happy for Sergio,” said Stroll. “He’s got a couple of races left for the team, he’s been up there for such a long time waiting for the win, and it came this weekend so I’m really happy for him.”
Racing Point are now favourites to clinch third in the constructors’ championship with a huge haul of 40 points from Sakhir, that leaves them 10 points ahead of fourth-place McLaren.