The Free Practice times offered little in the way of answers as to what the pecking order would be for qualifying and the race.
Lance began qualifying on a set of new Soft tyres, but the team decided on a strategy of sticking to a single set of tyres for the whole segment.
Despite improving on his times on each lap, with his best effort being 1:28.476, the times were so tight such that Lance narrowly missed out on making Q2. This meant that he lined up 18th on the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Overnight rain washed away much of the rubber for race day, and Lance started the 57-lap race on the Hard tyre.
He kept out of trouble on the opening lap and gained several positions, before settling into a rhythm.
After a while, he became stuck in a DRS train, but kept in the mix for a strong result.
Lance eventually pitted at the end of lap 44 for the Medium tyre, which he would take to the end of the race.
He made some bold moves on the track to try and work his way into the points in the closing stages.
Despite racing right to the chequered flag, he missed out on a points-paying position by just two seconds.
Lance Stroll, Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team driver:
"It was a tough race today and we found it difficult to make a huge amount of progress from 18th on the grid. The car felt good, but I was stuck in a DRS train with a lot of traffic around me. We opted for a long stint on the Hard tyres and managed those well; it was then just a case of deciding when to pit to make sure there were enough laps left to maximise the pace of the Medium compound. I had some fun overtaking Alex [Albon] into Turn One but, in hindsight, we could have boxed a few laps earlier to try and catch 10th position. It’s been a weekend to learn from – which we’ll do – and I’m looking forward to getting back out in the next race.”
Lance will next be in action at the Monaco Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monte Carlo on 28 May.
Japanese Grand Prix
September 27, 2023
After making up several positions from his grid slot, Lance was forced to retire with a rear wing issue.