Stroll Portuguese qualifying struggles were partly a result of missing Eifel GP

Lance Stroll believes that part of his struggles in qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix was due to missing the Eifel Grand Prix after testing positive for COVID-19.

Stroll had a tough qualifying session, ending up 12th fastest with a best time of 1m17.626s, half a second slower than his teammate Sergio Perez, who managed to go on to qualify fifth for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.

But, speaking after qualifying, Stroll stated that he was still getting back up to speed, having missed the last grand prix, while also struggling with the balance of his Racing Point RP20.

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“I’ve had better Saturdays and it was a tricky qualifying.” said Stroll.

“I’ve been struggling with the car balance and it was a little bit inconsistent out there.

“At times I was able to get a good lap out of the car, as I did in Q1, and that gave me a good basis to work from, but then in Q2 I found the car a bit snappier and the balance more difficult.

“The conditions were also changing, which I think was due to the track surface and wind conditions, which didn’t help the lap times.

“We will go away and look at the overall picture and come back stronger tomorrow.

“On my side, it’s also been a little while since I was in the car after missing last weekend, so I’m still getting back up to speed.

“I expect it will be a track position race tomorrow, but if we can get a good start and have a strong first lap, we can aim for points.”

But, while Stroll put his poor performance down to missed time in the car as well as poor balance, Racing Point Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer explained that a gust of wind caused Stroll to have a moment in turn 13 and that cost him a place in Q3.

“Lance was on course to make Q3, but a gust of wind ruined his best lap and caused a big snap of the rear in turn 13.” added Szafnauer.

“He lines up P12, but I’m confident he can score points in the race.”