Seven races into his Formula 1 career Lance Stroll scored his first podium at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, today for the 2021 edition of the race he was back in Baku but crashed out of qualifying before he set a timed lap.
Aston Martin have been almost anonymous this weekend, in fact pretty much as they have been all season this year and when they did ‘surface’ it was for the wrong reason, namely, Stroll putting it in the Wall of Wannabe Champions (aka Turn 15) of the windswept tricky city street circuit.
Stroll can take comfort knowing that Turn 15 caught out the likes of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc during the course of the past two days, and many more.
“Turn 15 is a challenging corner,” Stroll reported afterwards. “As we have seen all weekend. It is off-camber and you brake over to the right, which means it is easy to lock up the front-right tyre under braking.
With a tailwind like today, you can be caught out. I came into the corner too hot and locked up the tyre after I was already committed. I am obviously frustrated with myself, but the focus is on bouncing back tomorrow.
“You can overtake in Baku, so we will try to work our way up the field as much as we can in the race,” added Stroll.
Stroll’s collision brought out the first of four red flags 😱🚩
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Teammate Sebastian Vettel had a better day of it and will line-up 11th for another Sunday of midfield mayhem among company which the four-time F1 World Champion is never comfortable with.
Vettel said in the team report: “We had good pace today. I was being patient and waiting to unleash the lap time at the right moment. Unfortunately, I took a bit too much risk on my best lap in Q2 and locked up going into Turn 15. I was lucky to continue, with a big flat spot, but it probably cost me about four-tenths.
That is what cost me a place in Q3. It is a tricky corner, downhill and bumpy, and it channels the wind. I am disappointed because we easily had the pace to go through to Q3.
“Then, with the early red flag, there was no opportunity to recover. Anyway, we are starting just outside of the points, but I think we can improve during the race with a nice rhythm and some good race pace,” predicted Vettel.