Spotting a clear gap of drier Tarmac, Lance shot down the inside from his starting position at 19th on the grid, overtaking several drivers at once and taking advantage of the clear space and the grip.
Battling hard on his Full Wets, Lance secured himself 11th on the first lap, as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz retired after making contact with the barrier.
The race was then red flagged, as weather conditions worsened, and the rain started to intensify.
After an intermission of over 1hr30, the race resumed with just 45 minutes remaining on the racing clock. The drivers completed three laps behind the Safety Car, until it went in and the drivers were able to start racing at full speed.
Lance took the chance to pit 10 minutes later, opting to switch for Intermediate compounds. He returned to the track in 15th and looked onto move his way up the field and was up to 12th by the time everyone had changed to the green-marked tyre.
Opting to pit again on lap 20, Lance returned in 16th on fresher Inters – one of the first drivers to do so – and returned just behind the Haas of Mick Schumacher.
With just over eight minutes left on the clock, Lance took14th from Mick Schumacher, and then 13th from Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, putting in a personal best lap time of 1:47.493 in the process.
After regaining 12th position by passing Kevin Magnussen, Lance then set his sights on hunting down McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Time was not on Lance’s side however, as the thrilling race came to a close with just 28 laps of the intended 53 completed, and theCanadian driver securing 12th as the chequered flag came down.
Lance Stroll – Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One™ Team Driver
“Before we got going, I had noticed a strip of drier Tarmac and decided to go for it at the start. It worked out really well – it was a really fun first lap! There was not much grip on those early laps and very little visibility; it was a tough call for Race Control, but it was clear that the race had to be stopped when Carlos [Sainz] crashed. I do not think the visibility was much better when were started, but it did get better towards the end. All in all, it was an eventful race, the fans were incredible with the weather, and now we look ahead to Austin and Mexico City.”
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.