Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll detailed on Tuesday his successful battle to be fit for the start of the Formula One season with broken wrists after a cycle accident and said his doctors feared initially he would miss the opening races.
The Canadian finished sixth in Sunday’s Bahrain opener despite injuries that included also a broken right big toe in the training fall in Spain on Feb. 18.
“My medical team, at first, believed I was not only going to miss testing, but realistically the first few races,” Stroll told followers on Instagram.
The 24-year-old said he had surgery on his right wrist 48 hours after the accident and 12 days before the first race, with the operation carried out by MotoGP traumatology specialist Javier Mir in Barcelona.
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“Following surgery, Dr. Mir told me I’d be back for Jeddah if I worked hard and with a bit of luck he was optimistic I could race in Bahrain — but that was a faint possibility,” said Stroll.
“To this day I am convinced the urgency Dr. Mir showed to me helped get me to Bahrain.”
Stroll said Mir also explained that fractures in his left wrist and hand could not be fixed and needed “a more conservative approach”.
“My medical team ensured we were doing anything and everything that showed some evidence for bone healing. It became my full time job, trying to combine everything that could help, even if it was by 0.5%,” he said.
Lance Stroll raced in Bahrain despite sustaining four fractures in a cycling accident. Peter Fox/Getty Images
“Once the cast came off on day four it became possible we had a chance of racing in Bahrain. My medical team devised a programme that would help me restore mobility and strength in my wrists.”
Stroll’s Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso finished third in the opening race, with the Canadian’s points lifting the team to second overall.
The next race is in Saudi Arabia on March 19.