Williams Martini Racing’s Lance Stroll had a disappointing opening day to his pre-season as the Canadian driving the FW40 who completed 12 laps using the Medium compound tyres spun the car and went into the gravel backwards causing significant damage to the car.

The accident meant that he was forced to sit out the rest of the day as the team awaited for new parts to be brought to the circuit from the factory in Grove.

Speaking following the action, Williams Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley commented by saying:

Lance was on lap six of his second run when he had a spin. The grip was particularly low and so he spun and went through the gravel backwards. Even though the accident was entirely innocuous we’ve unfortunately had quite a bit of accident damage, which we’re now in the process of repairing. We’re having to send some composite parts back to the factory, which will be back with us at some point tomorrow. We’re doing the upmost we can now to get back out on track at the earliest opportunity tomorrow. We will be able to recover the programme in the coming days.

Speaking following his first day in the new car, Stroll commented by saying:

It is still early days and I have only done a handful of laps. I am just getting to grips with the FW40, and there is still a lot of time ahead of us. It was good to finally get behind the wheel to just get a feel for it. Like I said, it is still early days, so I need to do a lot more running before I know exactly where I am and where the car is at. I will have a much better picture once we have more laps under our belts, but it was good to break the ice and I am looking forward to some more running.

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