The incidents left Szafnauer cursing his team’s luck, with Stroll, in particular, retiring in three of the last four races, additionally suffering a tyre failure at Mugello, while he was hit by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the Russian GP at Sochi.
“It was a South African golfer [Gary Player], I think, who said the harder I work the luckier I get, and I believe in that saying,” said Szafnauer.
“As a team, we have to work hard, plan well, get the race car where it needs to be and the luck will come. We just have to keep making good decisions with the information we have and work hard and the luck will change.”
The team is currently holding onto third in the constructors' championship, despite a season of disruption in which both drivers have missed races through Covid-19 and the team has been hit with a 15-point penalty following the copying furore.
Aside from the race, the weekend in Portugal overall was another difficult one given the heavy scrutiny of the team's Covid testing procedures and Stroll's absence from the Eifel Grand Prix, initially through illness before testing positive.
With the Canadian driver in desperate need of a good result at Imola this weekend, Szafnauer said: “You bounce back but you’re not quite at the same level as everyone else around you who hasn’t missed anything.
“Lance will be better in Imola. Even in Portimão he was. When he came together with Lando, that was an overtake for seventh place, so he started well and in a few laps, he was quicker than Lando.
“He should have got seventh, and had he made that move stick we think he would have been around where [Pierre] Gasly finished [fifth], which would have been a pretty good result starting from 12th. We had a good race car.”
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