October 26, 2020

Luckless Lance Point-less in Portimao

Lance's luckless streak continues, as a collision and floor damage resulted in a retirement at the Portuguese Grand Prix

Lance Stroll's luckless run sadly continued at the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao, after a collision and subsequent damage forcing him to retire with floor damage.

After missing the Eifel Grand Prix with illness, Lance returned to the cockpit of the RP20 for Formula One's first visit to Portimao, in the Algarve for the first Portuguese Grand Prix for 24 years.

Lance eased into the weekend in FP1, but was denied crucial running in FP2 following a collision with Max Verstappen, which span Lance into the gravel half-way though FP2 and meant low-fuel and high-fuel running was lost.

Qualifying proved to be a difficult session in which the Soft tyre often took several laps to get into the temperature window. In a further challenge to the drivers, the track did not undergo significant evolution strong gusts of winds also impacted lap times.

Lance advanced from Q1 comfortably,  with his first Q2 run leaving him on the fringes of a Q3 place. The Canadian headed out for a short second run in the final minutes, but conditions meant few drivers were able to improve their lap times – leaving Lance just outside the Q3 cut-off in P12.

Conditions from the start of the race led to a frantic first lap as driver's desperately searched for grip in the conditions.
By the end of the second lap, Lance had worked his way into the Top 10 and was hunting down Pierre Gasly and Kimi Räikkönen, soon moving into P8 as the pitstop window approached.

Lance was in a promising position, but his race was effectively over after a collision with McLaren's Lando Norris into Turn 1 that led to the Canadian running off track and losing places.

He returned to the pits and switched to new Hards but retired on Lap 53 of 66 due to significant damage to the floor.

Lance: “It’s a real shame to have retired from the race because our pace was strong and we made progress in the first stint to have a real shot at good points today. It was an awkward coming together with Lando [Norris]. I was waiting to see if he would go left or right, but he stayed towards the middle of the track at Turn 1.

“That meant I had a split-second to decide what to do and I chose the outside and went over the kerb a little. When I turned in, I felt I was ahead, but there wasn’t space for two cars. After the collision, the car was damaged and it wasn’t possible to continue, so we had to retire.

“Putting aside the result, I really enjoyed the circuit and I would love to see it on the Formula 1 calendar in the future. Today was one of those days to forget, so my focus is now entirely on Imola and turning the corner there.”

Lance will return to action in just one-weeks time at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, taking place at Imola on the 30th October - 1st November.