After a promising Friday running at Bahrain, where Lance was inside the top ten on both occasions, with impressive race pace - him and teammate Sergio Perez were confident heading into qualifying.
Qualifying saw Lance ease through Q1, before Q2 was a disrupted affair - following a red flag mid session that interrupted proceedings.
After the red flag, there was a miscommunication on tyre strategy that saw Lance on the same set of Medium tyres for his final tyre run.
Sadly Lance was unable to extract the performance that his rivals could on new tyres - which prevented Lance getting into Q3, finishing in P13 - but with the luxury of dictating his own tyre strategy for the race on Sunday.
The race had promised much with Lance in P13 but having the advantage of a free tyre choice.
At the start, Lance bounced back from contact with a Ferrari to make progress on the opening lap.
There was then a long red flag period after a scary crash for Romain Grosjean, who was thankfully able to extricate himself before being taken to hospital having avoided serious injuries. The team wishes him all the best.
When the race got going again, Lance lined up in P11 as the race got underway for the second time.
Lance would begin a battle with a train of cars only to be taken out in a clumsy move from Daniil Kvyat that flipped Lance over and ended his race on Lap 3 at Turn 8, earning the Russian a 10 second time penalty. Thankfully, Lance was ok.
Sadly Lance's rotten race luck since Mugello continued, but hopefully with a back-to-back race in Bahrain, the streak can be lifted next weekend!
Lance: “I’m really happy that Romain was able to walk away from that crash as it was a scary one to see happen. I think all of us drivers in the pitlane had to stop for a second and reset before getting back into the car. I’m definitely thinking of him.
For me, personally, I’m really frustrated by the race.
We’ve scored two points since Monza and it’s been a series of incidents outside of my control that’s caused it.
At one point this season we were P4 in the Drivers’ Championship and we’d had such a strong start to the year, so that makes the current situation all the more frustrating. I can’t say much about today’s incident, I was going through Turn 8 and was mid-corner when I was hit by Daniil [Kvyat] who came out of nowhere and connected with me.
The crash looked worse than it was: I’m ok, and Daniil got a penalty.
There’s no point thinking about what could have been today or in the previous events. We won’t dwell on it because there’s nothing we can do about it now.
We need this run of bad luck to end and we’ll focus on coming back stronger next week and finishing the season on a high.”
Lance will get another chance at Bahrain next weekend, as F1 returns to the same circuit but on a different configuration for the Sakhir Grand Prix, on the 4-6 December.
French Grand Prix
June 18, 2021
Lance finished Friday in P16 as Formula One returned to Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix.