Stroll insists he's fit to race in Bahrain Grand Prix despite 'protecting' wrist in practice following injury
Aston Martin's Lance Stroll has maintained he can race in the Bahrain Grand Prix despite appearing to feel the effects of his recent wrist surgery during Friday practice.
Stroll injured his right wrist in a cycling crash almost two weeks ago, that accident causing him to miss pre-season testing, while Aston Martin fielded F2 champion Felipe Drugovich and kept the Brazilian on standby in case the Canadian couldn't race this weekend.
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However, Stroll travelled to Bahrain and took part in FP1 and FP2, finishing sixth in both sessions and turning a total of 45 laps on Friday – while team mate Fernando Alonso went second then first in the respective sessions.
The Canadian seemed to be feeling the pain from the pins in his wrist during FP2 – but after stepping out of the car he shrugged it off.
"Yeah I’m feeling alright, a little stiff but it was overall okay in the car," maintained Stroll.
"It was so great to be back in the car today and get my first proper laps of 2023 in. It has only been 13 days since my accident and at that point I was not sure I would be back in an F1 car so soon, so to be here with the team is amazing.
DATA POINTS: What we learned from Friday practice in Bahrain
"We lost a little bit of time in FP1 with an ignition issue, but once that was fixed we ran well and collected some important data to work through tonight. It is clear that the team have made some really good progress over the winter break; the car was feeling great to drive and I am excited to get back behind the wheel tomorrow."
Asked whether he was pushing the steering wheel due to his recovering wrist, he replied: "No, no, I just was protecting it; it feels a little bit more comfortable so I feel like I can definitely drive no problem."