A new question mark has emerged over Lance Stroll’s ongoing participation in the season-opening Bahrain GP.
Just days after surgery for a fractured wrist, and with his other wrist also sprained following a mountain bike fall, the Canadian took part in Friday practice at Sakhir.
And while teammate Fernando Alonso astonishingly set the pace in the sister Aston Martin, 24-year-old Stroll was an impressive sixth fastest.
But during the session, Stroll told his engineer on the radio that he couldn’t adjust his driving in one corner because of his “hands”.
On-board footage showed him taking his left hand off the steering wheel to turn a corner, before Stroll was seen being physically assisted out of his cockpit by team engineers.
“When you consider that he now has to do qualifying on Saturday and 57 laps on Sunday, I’m certainly curious whether he’ll still be in the car tomorrow,” former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Sky Deutschland on Friday.
“If it’s hurting him so much now, then he can probably forget the race.”
Stroll told reporters afterwards that although his hands “hurt”, “I can drive”.
“My hands were a little numb, but in general everything was fine in the car,” he added. “I was just protecting my wrist a little bit.”
As for the car, after sitting out pre-season testing Stroll was finally able to give a clear verdict of its performance.
“The car is just incredible,” he said. “It feels great to drive.
“It would be great to fight for the first row in qualifying, and we will try to do it.”