With a points paying finish at Spa-Francorchamps just before Formula 1’s Summer break, Lance arrived in Zandvoort – a circuit which saw a top ten result in qualifying and P10 in 2022’s race for him – for the resumption of the 2023 season.
Car troubles curtailed Lance’s FP1 efforts and as a result, he didn’t set a time in the opening session.
His weekend got underway with FP2 and a P8 at the end of the session, just half a second shy of the fastest time.
Then, in FP3 on Saturday morning, a wet session saw Lance set a P17 time on the Intermediate tyres.
A mixed conditions qualifying session proved a tricky one to negotiate, but the Aston Martin F1 Team driver did so with composure to progress comfortably through to Q2 with the seventh-fastest time.
The second stage of qualifying wasn’t quite as straightforward and as the times tumbled on a drying track, Lance was shuffled down the order missing the cut off for Q3 by half a tenth.
Starting from P11 on the grid, Lance gained a position on the opening lap amidst the rain-fuelled chaos.
As others pit for Intermediates in the first two laps, he made his way up to fifth by the start of Lap 3.
The next two laps would see a turning of the tides in favour of the Intermediate runners and so Lance began dropping back into the clutches of the chasing pack.
At the end of Lap 4, he pitted for Intermediates and returned to the track in P20. Having made progress to P18, he pitted again on Lap 10 for fresh Softs and this time re-joined in P19.
Lap 17 would signal the start of a Safety Car period and another pit stop for Lance to take on a set of Mediums.
Despite making progress once again, he dropped back to P19 once again when he pitted for another set of Softs on Lap 35.
Having made his way past Kevin Magnussen and Charles Leclerc, Lance held P 14 on Lap 62 and by the time the red flags were waved on Lap 64, he was in P13.
In the remaining laps after the restart, Lance muscled his way up to P11 on the Intermediate tyre and finished just shy of a points position in P11.
Lance Stroll, Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team driver:
"It wasn’t the race we were hoping for today. The changing weather conditions made it very challenging to make the right strategy call and we just didn’t make the right tyre decisions in the opening few laps. We’d hoped to survive the first downpour on the slick tyres, but the rain was heavier than expected and we switched to the Intermediate compound a little too late. Once the running order had stabilised, I found myself stuck in traffic and struggled to make any progress. It’s disappointing as the car was performing well and I think more was possible, but that’s racing sometimes. We’ll learn from today’s mistakes and push hard again in Monza."
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.