Lance Stroll’s pre-season campaign is continuing create all the wrong headlines after the Canadian brought Williams’ testing programme to an early close for the second day running with another accident at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The 18-year-old Canadian was limited to just 12 laps in the team’s all-new FW40 challenger on Tuesday after losing control of his car on the kerbs exiting the high-speed Campsa corner and damaging his front wing when he spun off the circuit. The team didn’t have the spare parts available to return to the track that day, and had to wait on replacement parts being flown in from their factory in Grove.
With the car repaired overnight, Stroll was back out on track on Wednesday and managed a solid 98 laps in a busy morning session before he brought out the red flags with another spin into the gravel at the end of the session.
Running again in the afternoon, he lost control of the car on his out-lap, spearing nose-first into the tyres at Turn 5 (pictured above). With a hefty repair job awaiting the mechanics, the team was forced to bring its day to another early close.
“Lance was really out on cold tyres, on a cold Medium tyre, on an out lap, with lot of fuel in the car, and the tyre stepped away from him,” said the team’s performance chief, Rob Smedley.
“What should have been an innocuous sideways moment brought him round into the barrier and did some damage, but that happens and we expected it to happen.
“There’s no blame on his part; he shouldn’t feel he’s let the team down, otherwise we’re living in some kind of terrible blame culture, and we don’t want that.”
Smedley admitted that the extent of the damage to the car raised a “question mark” about the team’s ability to participate on Thursday’s planned wet-weather running day, which will further compromise the team’s already-disrupted pre-season.
“We’ll be doing our utmost to get out,” he added. “It’s an important day of testing for us… we had a good day learning about the car and obviously we’re desperate to continue that for tomorrow onwards.”
Image via XPB Images