Racing Point reveal front-wing "damage" led to Stroll's Turkish GP woe
Racing Point has revealed that damage sustained to the front wing of Lance Stroll's car led to his sudden performance drop-off during the Turkish Grand Prix and the Canadian limping home in a lowly ninth place.
Stroll stunned Formula 1 on Saturday when he secured the first pole position of his career in the sport, mastering the treacherous conditions at Istanbul Park.
The 22-year-old then dominated the early laps and seemed on course for victory until he suddenly started to be reeled in by the chasing pack due to graining issues.
It resulted in the team opting to switch Stroll onto a new set of intermediate tyres in the hope he could again compete, only to suffer almost immediate graining and a lack of performance that resulted in him finishing 72 seconds behind race-winner Lewis Hamilton.
The team has now unearthed the cause of Stroll's demise following its customary post-race inspections.
A team statement read: "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 tyres at the Turkish Grand Prix.
"Lance reported poor tyre 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."
Team-mate Sergio Perez went on to finish second behind Hamilton, with the 20-point haul allowing Racing Point to move into third in the constructors' championship, five points ahead of McLaren, and 19 ahead of Renault, with Ferrari 24 points back.
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