Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack says Lance Stroll’s crash in qualifying in Singapore reflected the Canadian’s strong commitment and confounds those who doubt his determination to succeed in F1.
Poor track positioning and tyre preparation on his out-lap ahead left Stroll exposed on his final flyer in Q1, which urged the Aston charger to “send it” into the final corner in a bid to make up some lost time and avoid a painful exit from qualifying.
But as the Aston Martin driver ran wide and over the kerb, he lost control and heavily clouted the barriers, which immediately triggered a red flag.
Stroll emerged unscathed from the wreck and was declared fit and well after a mandatory visit to the medical center at Marina Bay.
But on Sunday morning, after Stroll woke up feeling sore, and with Aston’s crews facing a lengthy repair job, team and driver decided that the Canadian would sit out the Singapore GP to better prepare for next weekend’s Japanese GP.
From the outside, Stroll’s crash appeared as one of desperation for the Canadian who has struggled this season to perform at the wheel of a car that demonstrated its efficiency in the hands of Fernando Alonso in the first part of the season.
Aston has regressed over the summer, but there remains a significant performance differential between Alonso and Stroll, to the point where the Canadian’s future with his father’s team has been called into question by pundits who argue that Team Silverstone can no longer afford to have a second driver who isn’t getting the job done at least half as well as Alonso.
Has Stroll reached the peak of his talent in F1? Krack dismisses that supposition and argues that his driver’s costly mishap in Singapore was a validation of his sense of commitment rather than a reflection of despair and recklessness.
“It’s proof that he’s full in,” said Krack at Marina Bay. “So, for all the guys that are thinking he’s not, to go into this corner at that speed, you have to have some commitment.
“I think this is another proof that he fully has it.”
Krack not only vouches for Stroll’s determination but also for his physical strength, which he demonstrated earlier this year when he made every effort to be on the grid in Bahrain despite a nasty pre-season cycling crash.
The Aston chief has no doubts about the Canadian’s ability to race at Suzuka next weekend.
“Lance is very strong. He’s much, much stronger than people think,” insisted Krack. “You have seen him [carry out media duties after his crash]. I’m not concerned at all… he will be fine.
“He is generally sore. If you have an incident like that, you have to think that you stress your muscles everywhere.
“It’s like if you spend a very hard day in the gym, you feel not great. I think it’s the right decision to be ready for Japan.
“The most important thing is that he’s fine. Anything else is secondary.”
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