Lance Stroll suffers bike accident, will miss F1 pre-season testing

Aston Martin have confirmed that driver Lance Stroll will miss this week’s pre-season testing in Bahrain due to a bike accident.  

The Canadian driver had an unfortunate bike crash whilst preparing for the upcoming season in Spain. Aston Martin reported that the injuries which Stroll sustained will, sadly, force him to miss the three-day test session.

But the team is optimistic that Lance Stroll will not be absent beyond pre-season testing. In a statement on their website, Aston shared a positive update.

“Lance is expecting a quick recovery and return to driving duties,” confirmed the statement. “We will assess his fitness to return to the cockpit daily and the team will issue an update ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.”

The season opener in Bahrain is from 3 March to 5 March. Therefore, Stroll has ten days to overcome any fitness issues from his accident. The 24-year-old called his crash “unfortunate”, but confirmed that he is “determined” to return to the cockpit soon. Stroll also added that he is “excited” for the upcoming season, his fifth with the team.  

“I am motivated to bounce back from this setback as quickly as possible,” said Stroll, via a team announcement.

While it is good news that Lance Stroll will be ready to go soon, his absence from pre-season testing is not ideal for either him or the team. Aston Martin now face a dilemma for their crucial three days of preparation.

Lance Stroll to miss pre-season testing: Aston Martin’s choices

The British squad have a handful of options at their disposal as a result of Stroll’s fitness woes.

At the time of writing (20/02/23), Fernando Alonso is the sole driver preparing for test running in Bahrain. He, therefore, could run for the full three days, as there is no requirement to split time with a second pilot.

Alternatively, the team has two test drivers who could step in and provide some solid run time. Their two options in this department are Felipe Drugovich and Stoffel Vandoorne. However, due to commitments in Formula E this weekend, Vandoorne is likely unavailable. This is a shame as the Belgian’s previous F1 experience could have been a benefit.

SPORF: F1 pre-season testing 2023: UK start time, how to watch the first on-track action

So, the Brazilian youngster Drugovich may get his first taste of a Formula 1 pre-season this week. This scenario would leave Aston with two brand-new drivers in their car, as Alonso only joined the outfit for this season.

Ultimately, Aston Martin could really be on the back foot heading into the 2023 campaign.

Most importantly, though, we wish Lance Stroll a speedy recovery from his accident.

Featured image credit: Getty