Lance Stroll believed his “day was done” in the Monaco Grand Prix when the Aston Martin driver clipped a barrier and jumped a kerb on his way to finishing P8 in the streets of the Principality.
Stroll found himself twice on the edge of disaster last Sunday when he straddled the kerbs at the exit of the Swimming Pool complex.
But it was the Canadian’s second error at the spot, when he emulated Charles Leclerc’s terminal mistake in qualifying, that really got his attention.
“It rattled my brain a little bit!” Stroll told Motorsport.com, commenting on his clumsy kerb jumping in Monaco.
“I was a bit surprised. I thought my day was kind of done actually, after the second one.
“The first one I kind of managed to save it, but the second one, I had a big thump on the inside. And normally when you get a big thump on the inside, we all know how it ends, so I was pretty happy. I used up my jokers there.”
Stroll feared that his kerb jumping would be frowned upon by the stewards. But while the Canadian was indeed investigated by race control, no penalty came his way.
“I knew it was on the edge, but I thought I was racing Ocon, I heard ‘racing Ocon,’ so I pushed quite hard, but in the end we had like six seconds gap to him when we exited the pitlane,” he explained.
“Actually, they didn’t tell me on the radio, but I saw it on the Jumbotron when I was driving. I saw ‘under investigation’.
“I put in some good laps for that, I didn’t know, but I had like 30 seconds at the end to the cars behind, so a 10-second penalty would still be OK.”
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Stroll’s race strategy which involved a long first stint on the hard tyre was an outlier compared to his soft-shod rivals. While “not ideal”, the plan worked out quite well at the end of the day.
“It wasn’t ideal, but I still got a pretty good launch, and the soft tyre runners didn’t really pull away from me too much on the launch,” he said.
“So, all in all, it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be or as difficult as I expected it to be at the beginning.
“I think our race was from lap 50 to lap 60 on the hard, hoping for a safety car, or just something to happen. And we managed to just actually overcut the others, Esteban [Ocon] and [Antonio] Giovinazzi on pace.
“I wasn’t expecting that before the race,” he admitted. “I mean, I expected them to have some good pace on that second stint, and we were going to maybe benefit from a safety car or something.
“But, in the end, we just had good pace. We were able to do it on good pace.”
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