Gearbox penalty puts Stroll at back of the grid

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Gearbox penalty puts Stroll at back of the grid

November 24, 2019 | News | No Comments

Rookie driver Lance Stroll will start his maiden Grand Prix from dead last on the grid as a result of a gearbox change on his Williams.

Stroll crashed in the final free practice session on the Albert Park Circuit on Saturday morning. The team was still completing repairs when qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix got underway.

Stroll did manage to get out on track and even out-qualified Renault’s Jolyon Palmer. However the team had been forced to change the gearbox in Stroll’s damaged car, which incurs a five-place grid penalty.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t a great day for Lance with his accident in FP3,” admitted Williams’ chief technical officer Paddy Lowe.

“It really set his whole day off to a bad start, from which it was difficult to recover. There was a lot of work needed on the car. We changed the entire back end as well as most of the front suspension.

“The team worked very hard to get the car ready for qualifying. But there was only time for him to get one run in the first session.

“Under huge pressure and with not very much practice in the car in any sort of qualifying format, I think that Lance did a good job to get that time on the board.

“Realistically for Lance, the race will be difficult. But it will be a good opportunity to gain experience. It’ll put him in a better position with more confidence for China.”

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“The day started off tough and it was hard to recoup from that,” said Stroll. “What happened in FP3 was a little touch and it led to a lot of things.

“The qualifying session was in a rush and we didn’t get to do what we had planned. However, the team did a great job to get me out in qualifying so a big thank you to them.”

And despite starting from the back, Stroll is certainly not giving up on his hopes for his first ever Grand Prix outing tomorrow.

“I now want to put the day behind me and move on to the race, which will be interesting starting from the back,” he said.

“Obviously it is a long race. Played intelligently we can do something – but we will work that out tonight and see about tomorrow.”

GALLERY: all the pics from Saturday’s action

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