Lance Stroll is back in Formula One cockpit. The Canadian has survived his Coronavirus infection and is fit again in Portugal. I feel good, my symptoms were very mild. I had no problems, so I am glad to be back.”His announcement on Wednesday nevertheless raised some questions.
Racing Point team leader Otmar Szafnauer contributed to the confusion on Thursday. He had also claimed in the Eifel that Stroll suffers from “flu-like” symptoms, which would not have ruled out a Corona infection. Two weeks later, he didn’t want to know about it. He had “misspoken”.
Stroll himself was finally able to speak and answer before the Grand Prix of Portugal. I woke up Saturday morning and had a stomach upset, which was pretty bad. I will therefore not go into detail either. I couldn’t drive in the morning. That’s why I decided to stay off the track.”
“I’ve taken every precaution”
When his health deteriorated on Saturday at the Nuremberg ring, he took the advice of his home doctor in Switzerland -“by phone.” I told him about my stomach problems. They were the same symptoms as after Russia.”
After the Grand Prix in Sochi Stroll was tested negative twice. There were very similar problems that Saturday. My doctor advised me to isolate myself. He thought that these were not COVID symptoms,”Stroll also stresses.
He neither coughed nor had fever or headache –also symptoms that can occur with a corona infection.”He did not cough or have a fever or headache. I just had a stomach upset, so I couldn’t drive. I stayed away from the route and flew home the next day.”
When he finally made the standardized test after his arrival in his electoral home Switzerland –every member of the team is automatically tested after the trip home, the result was positive. Stroll does not want to talk about a misdiagnosis of his doctor, nor about an increased risk for Racing Point team members.
Nevertheless he was still on site on Thursday and Friday at the Nurburgring, as he was tested negative earlier on Tuesday. It was only when his health deteriorated that he withdrew his participation.
“I followed all precautions, immediately cut off all contact with the team on Saturday when I was feeling worse,” the Canadian stresses. When asked if a test would not have been part of the precautions, he deviates.
“Should have let me test”
“As I said, I had no contact with the other team members, but only with my trainer and my assistant, Lucy. Both have also isolated themselves.”According to medical opinion, he assumed not to have been infected with the Coronavirus.
Where Stroll has been infected remains unclear.” His father and racing-point team owner Lawrence Stroll was also tested positively after the German race. He is doing well,”says the 21-year-old.
In retrospect, of course, one is always smarter, he sees. At the time, I didn’t think I had the virus,”he admits.”I don’t have the virus.” Later it became clear that I did have it and I should have been tested too,”he then looks back.”I’m sorry. But together with my doctor we came to the conclusion that we did not think it was COVID.”
After a ten-day quarantine he has now recovered. On Monday (19th October) it was tested negative again last time. How much has the infection affected his preparation for the Portuguese Grand Prix?” Not really.”
However, he hardly trained in self-isolation. It wasn’t until I got better towards the end that I started a little training. At home, I did some exercise and sat on my bike.”He feels good and is in”great shape”.