Stroll set for Suzuka return after missing Singapore GP
By Mat Coch
Thursday 21st September, 2023 - 7:07pm
Lance Stroll is poised to return to the cockpit of his Aston Martin this weekend in Suzuka after opting to sit out last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
The Canadian suffered a hefty qualifying shunt at the end of the opening phase of the three-part session last Saturday.
The impact tore the two left-side wheels from the car as it was flung back onto the track, Lando Norris doing well to avoid it.
Cleared at the time to take part in the race, on Sunday morning the team issued a statement advising that Stroll would, in fact, not compete.
“I mean, I was healthy to race, but I wasn’t physically feeling good enough to do Singapore, which is the hardest race of the year,” he told media, including Speedcafe, in Japan.
Stroll revealed the impact was in the region of 50G, one of the biggest of his career.
The significance of the impact raised questions about whether he’d lost consciousness, or suffered a concussion, though he was cleared of both.
“I went through all the concussion protocols and stuff,” Stroll explained.
“It was, just kind of see how you feel later in the night and all that stuff, and then make a decision tomorrow.”
The result was Stroll, and the team, reached a mutual decision to sit out the Singapore Grand Prix.
It was a tough event for Aston Martin which was hoping for a positive result; Fernando Alonso suffered damage and went backwards with an uncharacteristically scrappy race.
The Japanese Grand Prix is expected to be more trying than Singapore, with hopes being kept in check as a result.
“I think we’re a bit on the draggy side here,” Stroll said of the AMR23s chances in Suzuka.
“There’s still a lot of straights, so it is important to be efficient.
“I’m not sure how our pace will be in sector one, in the high-speed corners.
“If we manage to get the car well balanced and set-up properly, and we’re not too draggy, we’ll have a good weekend.
“I don’t think it’s as clear as it was maybe in the past.”