Lance Stroll said a miscommunication over Q2 tyre choice ensured a P13 start on the grid for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Stroll’s qualifying at the Bahrain International Circuit would have felt like a big bump down to earth after his amazing exploits in Turkey, where he managed to bag a shock pole position in wet conditions that he has thrived in before.
But the Canadian now finds himself cut adrift in the crucial fight in Sunday’s race as Racing Point, Renault and McLaren continue to squabble over P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
“We had the wrong tyres on the car,” Stroll said in the Bahrain paddock when asked what the miscommunication was within the team.
“But it was nobody’s fault. I think there was a miscommunication on timing. I thought we would have time for two runs [in Q2] so we only had time for one run and it was on an old set of mediums because we used one set in Q1 and did a lap before the red flag.
“Then we went back on the same set after. The others had a new set to use so there was no chance to even get close [to them].
“Unfortunately that was a bad call.”
There we have it from qualifying then! Tomorrow promises to be an exciting one ?#BahrainGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/YiA2GOuH1i
— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) November 28, 2020
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With Stroll in P13, it leaves Sergio Perez looking a little vulnerable in P5 with both Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon directly behind on the grid.
The Mexican fell just short of being able to dislodge Red Bull Alex Albon from P4 and he pinpointed the final sector as where he lost crucial time to the driver he has been linked with replacing in 2021.
“I lost some time on the entry to Turn 13,” Perez said via Sky Sports F1 when reflecting on his last Q3 lap.
“As soon as I brake I try to turn in and have a little correction on the steering wheel. The power [through that corner] was a little hard as well.
“After qualifying it is always easy to see [where I could have improved] .
“But I’m still pleased. I was expecting a worser qualifying but I think Q1 really made our qualifying.
“And I actually think qualifying is pretty unrepresentative [in Bahrain]. Having good, consistent race pace will make your race.
“I am pretty confident and think we have a good car underneath us, so I’m looking forward to it.
Just 18 points separate Racing Point, McLaren and Renault in the standings ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
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