Aston Martin rules out Vettel for Stroll’s seat

Mon, 27 February 2023, 07:00

Feb.27 (GMM) Aston Martin has now ruled Sebastian Vettel out of the running to replace the injured Lance Stroll in Bahrain this weekend.

The team is being coy about the extent of Stroll’s injuries, but paddock rumours suggest hr fell during a mountain bike ride – and damaged a wrist.

Other rumours suggest both of the 24-year-old Canadian’s wrists and hands are affected, although it is not known if it is fractures or tendon damage.

Kevin Magnussen had a cyst removed from his wrist over the winter but played down any comparison with Stroll’s recovery.

“I didn’t have any fractures, no tendon damage, nothing like that,” said the Haas driver. “But if Lance has a broken bone, he will recover quickly.

“It’s better to have a break than a torn tendon, because with a fracture they put screws in you and you’re back.”

However, with Stroll having already missed the entire pre-season test, it is now rumoured that Stroll may not only miss Bahrain this weekend but the subsequent races at Jeddah and Melbourne.

That ramped up speculation Aston Martin might re-call the newly-retired Sebastian Vettel to the cockpit.

“I’ve had a couple of calls with Sebastian,” team boss Mike Krack said in Bahrain, “but that was also the case last year and it will continue in the future.”

Aston Martin subsequently confirmed officially that if Stroll is unable to race in Bahrain, reserve and Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich – who drove the 2023 car in Stroll’s place last week – will be in the green car.

“Lance is plan A,” Krack said. “It’s like in football, when the coach waits until the last moment if a player is slightly injured.

“We still have to wait and see what Lance says and what the doctors say.”

He is also coy about widespread suggestions that Aston Martin may suddenly be knocking on the door of Formula 1’s top three teams with its new single seater.

“We can’t start dreaming after a test,” Krack insists. “And we have to be realistic. The three top teams look strong.

“We don’t think anyone has put their cards on the table either. But as Fernando (Alonso) always says – there is no magic in Formula 1.”

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