SportF1Stroll criticizes the FIA's decisions at the Australian GP

Stroll criticizes the FIA's decisions at the Australian GP

The Canadian Aston Martin driver was penalized for making “more than one change of direction to defend his position” while battling Valtteri Bottas on track.

Following an investigation, he was given a five-second penalty and fined one penalty point on his FIA superlicence. The penalty did not change his 12th-place finish in the race.

Race Direction also investigated Lance Stroll’s maneuver to overtake Bottas when the virtual safety car period ended, as the Alfa Romeo driver claimed he had forced him off the track, but no action was taken.

In the sanctioned incident, the stewards explained that Stroll had gone beyond what was allowed with his movements: “On the main straight, car 18 [Stroll] was ahead of car 77 [Bottas]. Car 18 moved to the right to defend against a potential overtaking of the 77”.

“Car 18 returned to the usual racing line and then moved to the right a second time to defend against another move by car 77. The second move is in breach of the regulations, which prohibit more than one change of direction to defend a position. “

After the race and analyzing the penalty, Lance Stroll did not understand why he had been penalized: “I don’t understand it,” he said when asked by about the incident. “We were two drivers moving all the time, only the last move really counts.”

“You can weave down the main straight as long as you don’t do it when the rider behind you is very close. I move to try to break the slipstream, not to try to defend myself, it’s different, but then I got penalized for it. I don’t get it. There are a lot of rare decisions at this time”.

Regarding his second move on Bottas , he said: “On the limit, yes. In the virtual safety car restart, I just caught him sleeping. I think it was a good race.”

“The penalty is annoying, because I don’t really understand the reasoning behind it, but it didn’t change our final position because we had more than five seconds with the car behind.

The Canadian from Aston Martin has received eight penalty points in the last 12 months.

Asked about the risk of having to miss a race, in case of receiving four more penalty points and reaching 12, his team manager, Mike Krack , acknowledged that the new race directors, Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas , have a focus more strict.

“I think we have to learn what the new race directors are like and how they manage every move,” he said. “So far we’ve learned a bit the hard way.”

“We will keep ourselves under control. Yesterday we received two points and today one. Obviously, when the car is not the way you want, the drivers try to defend themselves as much as they can.”

“I think it’s a combination of that and the new ways of managing from Race Direction, but that’s very easy to say. I think if we had a much better car, we wouldn’t have these problems,” Mike Krack concluded.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22

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