SAKHIR, Bahrain — Lance Stroll will race at the Bahrain Grand Prix with pins in his broken right wrist after successful surgery following a training injury.
Stroll fell off his bicycle while training ahead of preseason testing and confirmed on Thursday he had surgery last week in a bid to make the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 5.
The team confirmed he will race as planned. There had been rumours he had broken both wrists but on Thursday, speaking to the media with tape on either wrist, he said: “I got surgery on the right one and the left one is just a bit banged up.”
Stroll had a simulator session this week to assess how his wrists coped.
“Yeah, they’re feeling good,” he said. “A big push over the last 12 days since my accident to get me here. They’re feeling good. I was in the sim yesterday, the day before. Feeling pretty strong.”
Stroll returns to an Aston Martin team which grabbed headlines during preseason testing with a flurry of quick times and impressive race simulations.
ESPN has placed Aston Martin as fourth in the pecking order, but close to third-placed Mercedes, coming into the season but other pundits have placed them higher.
“Yeah, it looks great,” Stroll said about the car’s pace. “I think everyone’s really excited. I’m excited to get back driving. It was painful to watch the test from a couch and not be in the car.”
When asked if the good test was a catalyst for coming back, Stroll said: “I want to have every chance to go racing. If I feel like I’m fit enough to race, with a bit of discomfort, I’m going to do it.
“We’re professional athletes. In every sport we’re sometimes in a bit of discomfort. If I felt it was not smart or there was a risk or I felt my bones were not ready, I wouldn’t do it. F1 is a long season, it’s 23 races, it’s not all about being here in Bahrain. But I feel confident, doctors feel confident, so here I am.”
Stroll said his condition has improved over the past week.
“It was a day by day thing,” he said. “With the injuries its always hard to tell. It’s not a really clear answer how long it will take. The first few days were rough, it looked like it was going to be tough but then the last four or five days it’s really been improving a lot every day.
“I’ve still got 20 hours or something. So every minute, hour counts and I was feeling good in the sim yesterday. Full lock, and all lock and all range of motion feels good.”
In terms of pain, Stroll said it “hurts a bit,” but nothing that would keep him out of the car.