MANAMA, Bahrain — Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll will compete in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix after breaking both wrists and missing last week’s preseason testing at the circuit.
The Canadian told reporters he had screws inserted in his right wrist after minor surgery about 11 days ago as a result of falling off his bike while training in Spain.
“It was an unfortunate accident, I fell from my bike when my tire caught a hole in the ground, but thankfully the damage was not significant and a successful minor surgery on my right wrist fixed the problem very quickly,” he said. “Since then, I’ve been working hard with my team to ensure that I am fully fit to compete this weekend.”
The left wrist was also “a bit banged up” but he had been cleared by doctors.
“It hurts a bit but it feels good, it feels solid and nothing I haven’t had before,” Stroll said, adding that he had been in the team simulator riding over bumps and steering without problems on Wednesday.
“Professional athletes in every sport are sometimes in a bit of discomfort, and if I felt like it was not smart, or it was a risk of injuring myself more, if I felt like my bones weren’t ready, I wouldn’t do it,” he added.
“But I do feel confident, the doctors feel confident, and here I am.”
Stroll, 24, has had only 17 shakedown laps in the team’s new AMR23 car.
“It was frustrating not to be out in Bahrain for the preseason test and I was disappointed to miss the three days of running,” he said. “However, given the injury to my wrist, the team and I felt it was best to focus on recovery so that I would be ready for this weekend and the long season ahead.”
Aston Martin said Drugovich and fellow reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne will remain on-site in case Stroll’s wrist doesn’t hold up during practice or qualifying.
The team finished seventh in last year’s Constructors’ Championship and has since added veteran driver Fernando Alonso to team with Stroll. Alonso was second fastest on the opening day and third fastest on the second when the Spaniard completed 130 laps.
“It looks great,” said Stroll. “I think everyone’s really excited, I’m really excited.”
Aston Martin finished seventh overall last year but are tipped to move up the pecking order.