Lance Stroll has admitted that he experienced significant “bad luck” in the recently completed 2023 Formula 1 season, which left him a staggering 132 points behind teammate Fernando Alonso.
Stroll has come under fire before in F1 in regard to whether he deserves his seat on the grid, or if he’s simply benefitting from his father owning Aston Martin.
However, he’s never received as much criticism as he did in the past 12 months, to the point where it was clearly getting the better of the Canadian.
Throwing his steering wheel and pushing his personal trainer after being eliminated in Q1 at the Qatar Grand Prix was the lowest of lows for Stroll, who made countless driver errors.
The biggest driver error made came during qualifying at the Singapore Grand Prix, where he had a huge crash at the final corner, costing Aston Martin over $1 million in repairs.
His best result in 2023 was fourth at the Australian Grand Prix, despite having a car which was capable of rostrums.
Alonso proved this, as the two-time World Champion featured on the podium eight times this year.
Stroll was rarely able to match Alonso’s pace, with him having had no choice but to accept the number two driver role.
He admits himself that 2023 wasn’t good for him and that it was full of “missed opportunities”, with him pointing out multiple unfortunate incidents which occurred in the opening rounds.
“Yeah, it’s been a season with a lot of bad luck, a lot of missed opportunities. I don’t like using the words bad luck, but I think missed opportunities,” Stroll told Motorsport.com.
“But I guess it’s bad luck when I think about the failures and stuff.
“We had races like Saudi running P4, engine problem[s], Monaco [qualifying], hitting debris. Damage to the car in Q2 and starting from mid-pack in Monaco, you lose your weekend. I think back to places like Suzuka, having a good race, rear wing failure.”
The 2023 F1 season was far from “smooth sailing” for Stroll, who missed pre-season testing after requiring surgery on both of his wrists following a cycling accident.
Perhaps missing testing through injury was the first indicator that it was going to be a “rollercoaster” season for the 25-year-old, who acknowledges that “sometimes it doesn’t always go your way”.
“Sometimes it goes your way a lot. And sometimes it doesn’t always go your way. And I think as long as you try and just kind of stay present and focus on one weekend at a time, all these things that kind of go wrong can change very quickly the next race, and they all go right,” Stroll added.
“It’s really about taking it one race at a time. And accepting that it can be a rollercoaster sometimes. And it’s not always smooth sailing, it’s not always a straight line, I guess that’s racing to an extent.”