Racing Point says the team found front wing damage when stripping down Lance Stroll’s car after his hopes of winning the Turkish Grand Prix disappeared.
Stroll took a stunning pole position at Istanbul Park and was equally impressive in the first part of the race as he opened up an advantage of nearly 10 seconds over teammate Sergio Perez. After switching to intermediate tires, Stroll struggled to match his earlier pace and slipped back towards the chasing pack, with a second stop only dropping him further down the field and he lost multiple positions to finish ninth.
“I don’t know what happened,” Stroll said. “I don’t understand. We had so much graining on the first set of intermediates, we decided to pit because we were losing seconds per lap but I just don’t know where that graining came from. It just happened instantly.
“Then we put on new inters and just grained again and no pace. So we’ll have to look into it — it was pretty terrible. It’s frustrating when you’re in the lead by 10 seconds and then all of a sudden you finish ninth; I don’t understand how that happens.”
On Monday, Racing Point released a statement saying it had found a root cause for Stroll’s problems that had not been obvious during the race itself.
“It was discovered during the team’s routine after race car set down that damage to the underside of Lance’s front wing was a significant contributor to the severe graining issues that Lance experienced during his second and third stints on the intermediate tires at the Turkish Grand Prix,” the statement read.
“Lance reported poor tire performance, significant understeer and graining from Lap 17 onwards in the race. Pitting for a fresh set of intermediates on Lap 36 failed to resolve the problem with the graining becoming even more severe.
“One of the strakes on the underside of the front wing came loose and lodged itself in such a way that the blockage caused a significant loss of front downforce. The resultant loss of front downforce contributed to increased levels of graining.
“Data during the race confirmed there was a significant loss of front downforce, but with no visible damage to the top side of the front wing, combined with the low-grip conditions, it was difficult to confirm whether the data was correct.
“It was only after the race, when the car returned to the garage, that the damage and blockage to the underside of the front wing was discovered.”