Stroll feeling upbeat after passing fitness checks

Lance Stroll has expressed relief at passing fitness checks before the Bahrain Grand Prix after suffering a wrist injury during pre-season

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Lance Stroll feels ready to go for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix after overcoming a cycling crash which injured his wrists.

On the Monday before pre-season testing in Bahrain, Stroll was declared unfit after his accident, with the team’s reserve driver Felipe Drugovich filling in for him as he recovered.

Drugovich was on standby in case Stroll wasn’t past fit by FIA doctors, but on the eve of the first practice session, Aston Martin confirmed he would drive after passing fitness checks.

‘‘Yeah, [the wrists are] feeling good,’’ said Stroll. ‘‘A big push in the last 12 days to get me here, and they’re feeling good. I was in the sim yesterday and the day before.

‘‘It was a day-by-day thing. The first few two days were rough. But then the last four or five days they were improving, I got the all clear by the doctors, and they’re confident [I can go] racing.’’

The quiet road to recovery

Stroll getting in before a testing session.

Before Thursday, not much was known about Stroll’s condition nor the nature of his accident, with some speculation whether he would race in the Saudi Arabian GP in a fortnight.

There were also questions surrounding the lack of comment from Stroll or the team on whether he had been back in the simulator before his potential comeback.

‘‘I fell off my bike, [and] broke my wrists,’’ explained Stroll. ‘‘I had surgery on my right wrist. It’s just a small procedure, and it was just physiotherapy and rehab to get me here.

‘‘It was a private matter. I was dealing with a lot. I was going into surgery and dealing with rehab I didn’t have a clear answer of how long it was going to take to recover.

‘‘I was completely focused and motivated to make it to Bahrain. I did the sim, we turned up the steering strength, and I felt good winding on the lock, going over bumps.

‘‘I’ll let you know after I drive what’s the hardest thing [for me].’’

Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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