‘I can’t man… I can’t with the hands’: Aston Martin left sweating over the fitness of Lance Stroll as he complains about pain in final Bahrain practice session after winter bicycle accident
Lance Stroll is touch-and-go for the first Formula One race of the season after appearing to struggle with hand pain in the wake of his pre-season surgery.
The Canadian and his Aston Martin teammate Fernando Alonso were blisteringly quick in the final practice session in Bahrain on Friday, but there were concerns for Stroll after he complained on the radio about being unable to turn.
When asked by his race engineer to change his approach, he replied: ‘I can’t man… I can’t with the hands.’
The 24-year-old Montreal native is driving this weekend with pins in his wrist, having undergone surgery on a broken right wrist after falling off his bike during a training ride in Spain last month.
At one point in the session, Stroll was seen on the on-board camera taking his hands off the steering wheel to flex his wrists, and back in the pitlane he needed help from his mechanics to get out of the cockpit.
Lance Stroll had to be helped out of his Aston Martin after the second qualifying session
Stroll is racing with pins in his right wrist and a ‘banged up’ left after a cycling accident
The Canadian is currently set to race on Sunday but Aston Martin have a decision to make
As it stands, Stroll is set to race in qualifying on Saturday and then in the race on Sunday, but there will be concerns among Aston Martin’s hierarchy that he is not fully fit to drive the car after being rushed back.
It appeared to be his ‘banged up’ left hand causing issues on the steering wheel rather than the recently-repaired right, with Stroll unable to drive in his usual style in the practice session.
On the timesheets, it had little impact on the team’s performance, with Aston Martin flying high in the upper echelons of the standings.
Throughout the practice session, Stroll had to alter his driving style due to his hand pain
Both Stroll (left) and Fernando Alonso were blisteringly quick in their Aston Martins in Bahrain
Alonso was the fastest man in FP2 under the lights, while Stroll – despite his health concerns – ran sixth, 0.543s behind his teammate.
It was reported after the session that Stroll was delighted with the result, too, with Chris Medland tweeting that the Canadian called the overall picture ‘amazing’ and spoke about ‘how awesome it would be to lock out the front row.’
Alonso, on the other hand, was keen to downplay the result ahead of Saturday’s first qualifying session of the season.