Lance Stroll opens up about bike accident and confirms he “feels confident” about racing in Bahrain

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Lance Stroll is ready to get back behind the wheel for the season opener in Bahrain this weekend. The Canadian driver has been cleared to race after missing out on pre-season testing, with Aston Martin confirming that the team’s reserve drivers, Felipe Drugovich and Stoffel Vandoorne, will remain on-site.

Photo credits: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Stroll opened up about his bike accident and road to recovery: “The first few days were rough, it looked like it was going to be tough but then in the last four, five days it’s really been improving a lot every day. (…) I was feeling good in the sim yesterday: full lock, whole range of motion.”

Stroll confirmed he underwent surgery after breaking his right wrist. He also clarified that his left wrist is “a little bit banged up” but not broken, contrary to some of the rumours that had been floating around.

“It was just a small procedure and it was just physiotherapy and rehab to get me here. (…) I got cleared by the doctors and they’re confident that I can go racing and that the bones are looking good.” He admitted that he had screws put in, and that in due time doctors will “reassess” his condition and decide on the best course of action going forward.

“It was a private matter, I was dealing with a lot,” Stroll explained when asked why he remained tight-lipped amid the speculation regarding his condition. “There was a lot going on: I was going into surgery, I was dealing with rehab, I didn’t have a clear answer of how long it was going to take to recover.”

Stroll remained cautiously optimistic when asked about Aston Martin’s promising form, admitting that he’s “really excited to get back driving,” while adding that “early signs look good, but you never know until you go racing, so I think we’re gonna find out a lot more when we go racing this weekend.”

He noted that the progress made on the car could already be felt in the sim, and confirmed that he had spoken to his teammate, Fernando Alonso, about the AMR23 and the work that had been done over the past week. “It’s never ideal, missing days in a Formula 1 car, but I can’t focus on that now, it’s done.”

When asked if he’s experiencing any pain as a result of the injury he sustained, Stroll confessed that “it hurts a bit” but clarified that he’s not in “any excruciating pain” and remained adamant that he can race through the “discomfort.”

“I want to have every chance to go racing. (…) We’re professional athletes. In every sport we’re sometimes in a bit of discomfort. If I felt like it was not smart, if I felt like there was a risk of injuring myself more, if I felt my bones weren’t ready, I wouldn’t do it. It’s a long season, there’s 23 races, it’s not all about being here in Bahrain. But I do feel confident, the doctors feel confident, and here I am.”