Stroll felt loss of grip “immediately” after suffering damage while leading

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll says he felt an immediate change in the balance of his car after suffering damage while leading the Turkish Grand Prix.

Following the race, Stroll was initially at a loss to explain why he suffered heavy tyre graining and had to make an extra pit stop, which cost him a chance to win. Racing Point subsequently revealed they discovered a damaged strake on the underside of his front wing after the race.

Stroll is believed to have incurred the damage around lap 17. “I felt it immediately,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans, “just a big increase in understeer and a loss of load on the front end. I wasn’t sure if I had damage at the time, though.”

The loss of pace meant he was caught by team mate Sergio Perez, and eventually forced Racing Point to bring him in for fresh tyres.

“I picked up a lot of front graining from lap 20 onwards and I lost my my gap that I had to to Checo,” said Stroll. “So that wasn’t so coincidental.

“I lost that 10 seconds gap or something, that I had. From there when I went onto the new set of inters I had no pace and a lot of understeer and a lot of front graining. So it all makes sense now, looking back at the race.”

Having led more than half of the race, Stroll eventually finished ninth. Despite that disappointment, he was pleased to come away from the race with his first pole position.

“The result wasn’t what we wanted, there was definitely a lot more on the table, but the pole position was really special. And it was great to be leading for the time we did until we picked up damage. We were comfortably in the lead, 10 seconds in the lead, so it was going well up until then.”

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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “Stroll felt loss of grip “immediately” after suffering damage while leading”

  1. And it only took two weeks to finally admit what was going on after we heard the shot across the World…”why, why, why” ?
    Why fight the results for so long? A race leader doesn’t make excuses for losing the lead still two weeks later. If Hamilton’s tire performance turns bad you hear about from Lewis during the event. Maybe not when racing moments call for little to be said. My point is it’s said and it’s over for the most part. Sorry Lance you still sound like it’s somebody else’s fault. You raced you led, you caught damage and your race was done. That’s twelve words. And you move on. Instead we still hear you coming up with legit answers or legit complaining weeks after it happened. I guess this is your first time in this position. Again the impressive race on your part is being forgotten and all that is remembered is your continued whining excuses.

    1. It seems that your are not familiar with usual media day on the Thursday before a Grand Prix, where all the drivers are interviewed by the media. Of course they would ask them on the last race, especially when something like that happens which only came to light well after the race. That’s what Q&A is about, it has nothing to do with whining. Get your facts straight.

    2. Steven, the team informed about this issue they had found on the front wing either still on Sunday after the race or on Monday, the next day. That you haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean it was not out there.

  2. The results will eventually come as long as he keeps on the level of performance until the point he started to lose out because of the tyre issues.

  3. His radio comms would indicate otherwise.

    When asked about the balance while leading, he replied that everything was a-ok.

    1. 33 To Stroll: So we can go inter this lap if you think it’s going to be inter, not get dry, but…
      33 Stroll: Yeah I don’t know. I think it’s going to be dry soon. But I don’t know, Brad, it’s really tricky right now.
      34 Stroll: This is bad, we need to do something.
      34 To Stroll: Torque 10.
      34 To Stroll: Box box.
      34 Stroll: Are you sure?
      34 To Stroll: We’re going to inter, Lance, we’re going to put another set of inters on. How’s the aero balance, what do you want?
      34 Stroll: Why are we doing that? Why, why, why?
      34 To Stroll: OK, stay out then, stay out.
      35 To Stroll: Lance we think we should box this lap for a new inter.
      35 Stroll: OK, it’s your call.
      35 To Stroll: How about aero balance?
      35 Stroll: It feels OK.

      35 Stroll: Who is behind Sergio?
      35 To Stroll: Hamilton. That’s the only car you’ll lose to. But you’ll [unclear] the pace
      35 Stroll: OK. Do we think the others will have to stop?
      35 To Stroll: Everyone else has stopped. Box this lap.

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        26th November 2020, 17:45

        This.

      2. this is just lame excuses , he did not mention the balance suddenly changing but questioned his pitwall crew about the tyre call ,failing to understand the,reasoning then obeing to team decision.
        Look up the laptimes , he had his best lap late in the race ….so no indication he killed his,tyres with massive understeer

  4. I guess it makes sense, because from lap 17 you indeed see Perez, Vettel and Hamilton suddenly starting to close in on Stroll. Stroll had built up a 10s lead and lost that gradually until his pitstop.

    The fact that he does not explain how the damage was incurred probably means he damaged it himself. Would be nice if he explained that bit too. It’s presented now as an act of Holy Noodliness, but if he damaged it himself by breaking it on a kerb or something, then it’s still his own fault.

  5. Oh come on this gets worse… he and RP should follow the if you are in a hole digging…. maxim. He now says he noticed a change immediately whereas during the race (and immediately after) he professed to having no idea but 2 weeks later he suddenly remembers it! So he was telling porky pies then or now – can’t be both true.
    Plus the team suposedly did not think it worth enlightening him about the downforce loss they “supposedly” could see even though Stroll was constantly asking what was going on!
    The cynical amongst us might surmise that the fact he was so far ahead was that Perez knew the tyres would give up so played the long game much as Hamilton did to win..
    Sad really I used to so admire RP

  6. Lance Stroll doesn’t belong in F1.

    Keep his dad, yes, as he keeps a team in; is he doing this out of unconditional love for his son? Maybe, but Daddy Stroll is a businessman and probably wants to have bragging rights of having a son who is driving in arguably the most prestigious driving sporting event in the world.

    Doesn’t mean he belongs though (Lance)

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