‘I just threw away the podium kinda thing’: Lance Stroll admits frustration after ‘funny’ race

Lance Stroll has risen to sixth in the Drivers' Championship after finishing fourth at the Australian Grand Prix.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll endured a very mixed Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, with the Canadian having been amongst the action throughout the race at the Albert Park Circuit.

Stroll started the third race of the 2023 F1 season from sixth after a solid qualifying; however, he slipped to seventh on the opening lap of the race.

The Aston Martin driver played a role in Charles Leclerc’s retirement on the opening lap, after Stroll tagged Leclerc’s right-rear, although, Leclerc had cut slightly across the Canadian, leaving him with nowhere to go.

This allowed Alex Albon to overtake the 24-year-old; however, Stroll was back into sixth just a few laps later after the Williams driver crashed heavily at Turn Seven on Lap Seven.

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Stroll’s race settled down from that point, with the Canadian having remained in sixth for the vast majority of the race.

He saw his opportunity following the second red flag of the race with three laps remaining, though, with Stroll having risen from sixth to third on the way into Turn Three following the standing start.

He rose three places after his team-mate was spun round by Carlos Sainz, whilst Pierre Gasly also crashed.

Stroll, though, went straight off the circuit at Turn Three and lost several positions, at least he momentarily thought he had.

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The race was red flagged for a third time before he went off into the gravel, with the order having then been reversed to what it was before the second restart took place, excluding the drivers who retired.

As a result, Stroll was moved from sixth to fourth, with Fernando Alonso having claimed third.

It marked Aston Martin’s best result of the season so far, but Stroll was left to feel like the team had “lucked out”.

“Yeah, it was a funny race,” Stroll told Formula1.com.

“I think we got away with, you know, some stuff going wrong at the end, I had my big lock-up.

“I was running in third and then I went off the track just because the tyres were super cold, and then Fernando got hit and spun and you know, I think we lucked out with the timing of the red flag. We’ll take it some good points.”

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The driver shared that there was certainly frustration amongst the British side following the third red flag of the race, with the entire paddock having been waiting to discover exactly what order the FIA would reinstate for the third restart on the final lap.

“For sure tension, frustration, like I didn’t know,” admitted Stroll, when asked if he felt any tension after the third red flag.

“You know I just threw away the podium kinda thing, but yeah anyways we’ll take it.”