Lance Stroll was told the third round of the season in Melbourne was a realistic race to return to Formula 1 before sore wrists and broken toes prevented him from catching Lewis Hamilton and limited him to sixth place. at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Canadian sustained injuries during a training crash that ruled him out of pre-season testing, but managed to drive the car for the first time on Friday in FP1. It turned out that Stroll had two broken wrists, requiring surgery on one, as well as a broken toe and despite running less than two weeks since surgery, he was able to split the Mercedes pair to back up his teammate’s third place finish. team Fernando Alonso.
“It’s a great way to start the season with Fernando on the podium, a great result,” said Stroll. “Yes, I am happy to be sixth considering everything that has happened in the last two weeks. I couldn’t move and ten days ago I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t use both hands.
“It was more or less a vegetable and I didn’t think I would be here right now and I’m still processing everything, so it’s amazing to pick up these points to drive this car. A great start to the season.
“Feels great. Great to beat (George) Russell. I think we could have gotten Hamilton without the VSC, we lost some time there. We were catching him towards the end, but my pain was the biggest limiting factor in the last twenty laps. Just Turn 10 and the hairpins I was struggling to turn in confidently without the pain. I was just trying to get to the end but the car was still a lot of fun to drive. nice car.”
Given the remarkable recovery from injuries to be able to complete a race distance competitively, Stroll says a lot of credit should be given to the professionals who have been working with him, as they told him the soonest he could aim for a comeback It was Melbourne four weeks. later.
“My medical team has been incredible. I have to greatly thank everyone who has helped me during the last two weeks from the surgeon in Spain, Doctor (Xavier) Mir, without him this would not be possible, it has been incredible. .
“My osteopath Henry who has been with me ten hours a day rehabilitating me. Show me how – well, fix my toe as much as you can, you can’t do much with your toes, but as much as possible! Rob Madden in the UK who had a lot to do with this, Roena… There’s a list of people who have helped me over the last two weeks.
“It has been exactly fourteen days since my accident. I had doctors saying maybe Australia. maybe it was crazy.
“(The plan now is) to continue rehabbing, I have twelve days now to continue working on my wrist, but I feel much better every day. My right wrist feels very solid, the one I had surgery on. The one on the left I think is just the time. A couple of small fractures, so he should be better. My toe feels better every day.”
However, it could have been very different for Stroll, as he hit his teammate Alonso at Turn 4 on the opening lap and nearly took both drivers out of the race just seconds after the action.
“Yes, good luck, good luck. I braked late to stay ahead of George. Fernando did it, cut Hamilton in turn 4 and at a very bad time we got together. So I was very lucky to get away with it.”