Did you miss the antics of Pastor Maldonado? Did the prospect of someone crashing early and often in Formula One warm the ice-cold depths of your tiny little heart? Congratulations! Now you can pick on one of F1's youngest faces, provided you don’t have any qualms about picking on someone who isn’t even old enough to drink yet in parts of his home country.
We’re not even into the season yet and new Williams driver and second youngest F1 driver ever Lance Stroll has broken something important on his car twice at this week’s preseason tests at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Teams have limited equipment during these preseason tests compared to a standard race weekend, which meant that Stroll’s spin on Tuesday broke part of the team’s only front wing. Williams had to end Stroll’s session in the car early and send parts back to the factory for repairs, per F1's daily recap.
Stroll’s crash into the wall yesterday forced them to sit out today, reports Motorsport.com. He spun into the barriers at turn 5, damaging the front suspension, nose and the chassis itself, ruling out any further running before major repairs could be made.
For what it’s worth, Williams Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley came to Stroll’s defense on this shunt when speaking to F1 Fanatic:
I wouldn’t even call it a mistake that Lance made today, he was going for an up-shift, he was on cold tyres. Felipe [Massa] once or twice on day one made almost exactly the same type of mistake and that’s a guy with 15 years’ experience.
Stroll was on cold medium tires when he lost the car. Cold tires are a beast to control, especially when everyone’s still getting used to a new-for-2017 tire.
Worst of all, this meant that Williams had to sit out the first day of wet-weather testing at the circuit—something they’ve gotten zero mileage with.
So, is Stroll the new Maldonado? He’s not as fast as teammate Felipe Massa, but that’s somewhat expected when you have F1's newest face paired with one of its oldest drivers.
Chill out, man! Otherwise, we’re going to need to start up haslancestrollcrashedtoday.com. [Update: It’s hasstrollcrashedyet.com, and it already exists. Harsh. H/T McMike!]