Stroll cleared to start Singapore GP after heavy crash
By Mat Coch
Sunday 17th September, 2023 - 4:13am
Lance Stroll has been cleared to start the Singapore Grand Prix after escaping injury in a hefty crash at the end of Qualifying 1 in Marina Bay.
The Aston Martin driver crashed in the final corner, careering nose-first into the Tecpro barriers on the outside of the circuit.
Stroll was at the foot of the timings sheets at the time and admitted he overstepped as he looked to claw his way out of the elimination zone.
“I started my lap two seconds behind, I think it was one of the Alpines, which is not really ideal for aero performance,” he explained of the incident.
“I was just not really improving my lap time much to get through to Q2.
“So I sent it in the last corner. I tried to make up some time and it’s not really doable.
“I know why I crashed,” he added.
“It was just because I wasn’t going fast enough to get through and therefore I tried to really send it.”
Stroll will officially line up 20th for Sunday night’s race (though it’s more likely he’ll start from the pit lane) after being cleared to take part.
“He got out of the car unaided and was taken to the medical centre for a precautionary assessment,” the team confirmed following the crash.
“Lance was cleared by the on-site medical team and returned to the team at track.”
First on the scene, Lando Norris believes Stroll was caught out by the car bottoming out as the Aston Martin rode the exit kerb.
“He was still spinning and kind of coming back onto the track quite a bit,” the McLaren driver explained.
“I hit the brakes quite quickly because I didn’t know if he was going to come across the road or what.
“But then there’s just a lot of debris and a tyre, so I’ve ducked my head just a little bit, just in case.
“Most important thing was he got out it was a big, big crash.
“I don’t know if they can maybe make a small improvement to the track there for next year because it’s kind of like a bit of a dip or something or it’s just not smooth enough,” he added.
“I think everyone’s a bit afraid to do it. There’s been quite a few instances of as soon as you do it, you almost have to just get off the throttle and abort the lap because if you try to commit you’re going to end up doing what Lance did.”
That’s caused by the car bottoming out, leaving the driver a passenger as the kerbing sits lower than the track surface, Norris explained.
“It kind of feels like yeah, there’s a decent bump, or it’s the rest of the track is just a little bit lower, like the kerb is a bit lower than the actual tarmac,” he explained.
“So it just feels like, when you come up over it initially it’s okay, but then trying to come back onto the track it just really unsettles the car.
“And because you have to run [the cars] so low nowadays, because of the regulations, as soon as there’s a decent bump, you just hit the floor, and you deck it and you’re gone; you bottomed out and you’ve clearly lost the car.
“It’s kind of through no fault of his own. It’s a known thing because you know if you hit the kerb badly or something, things like this can happen.
“But it’s also just how these regulations are you have to run the cars low and stiff.
“When you do that nowadays, and there’s a bump, which probably didn’t even used to be a bump a few years ago but now is a significant bump, we just can’t stand with the same things as what we had a few years ago.”