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Stroll's "whole world was crumbling in front of me" after bike crash

Lance Stroll says he felt his "whole world was crumbling in front of me" when he broke his wrists in a bike accident just days ahead of Formula 1 testing, before returning to finish a brave sixth in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Three days before Bahrain's pre-season test, Aston Martin announced Stroll would miss testing after sustaining injuries during a training ride in Malaga the previous weekend. Those injuries were later revealed to include fractures in both wrists as well as a broken toe.

While reserve driver Felipe Drugovich took over Stroll's testing duties, the Canadian underwent surgery by famed MotoGP surgeon Xavier Mir as he faced a race against the clock to recover in time for last weekend's season opener.

Stroll had screws inserted into his right wrist and, following a simulator session last Wednesday, he was cleared to take part in the Bahrain race weekend.

Aston enjoyed a leap in performance with its new AMR23 and Stroll's painful endeavour paid off with a sixth-place finish, while team-mate Fernando Alonso took a shock podium.

After revealing that doctors were projecting him to only be fit for round three in Australia, Stroll opened up on what he called the "most insane two weeks of my life" as he felt his "whole world was just crumbling in front of me".

"It was the most insane two weeks of my life," Stroll told the F1 Nation podcast.

"I fell off my bike and I went down really hard. And I knew right away both wrists were crushed. I only noticed my toe at the end of the day, because I was so focused on my wrists.

"My whole world was just crumbling in front of me, because I was already thinking I'm probably going to miss a few races. All those thoughts are going through your head and like horrible timing, four days before the test."

Stroll judged that getting help from Doctor Mir, who has worked with numerous injured MotoGP riders, gave him the best chance of making an unlikely Bahrain appearance.

"He did that surgery on my right wrist and then put me in a cast on the left wrist," Stroll revealed.

 

"He said: 'We're going to immobilise you for two to four weeks on the left wrist but we don't know how long it's going to take the right wrist... hoping [in] Bahrain you'll start to get some movement. You may be able to drive and then the toe is going to just take time.'"

After watching the test from his hotel room in Barcelona, Stroll said he still wasn't expecting to make the race because he was "so far from being fit to drive".

But rapid progress early last week meant his chances improved and as Mir gave him the go-ahead to travel to Bahrain, a painful simulator session in Silverstone confirmed he was able to drive.

"I didn't think I was going to be able to be in the car anytime soon. I couldn't move. I was so far from being fit to drive. I was just with my osteopath Henry 10 hours a day, doing rehab," he continued.

"Last week, around Monday or Tuesday, I [could] suddenly start to feel a little bit more movement. I was in the sim on Wednesday and it hurt like hell, but I was like, 'Hey, by the time I get there on Friday for FP1, maybe I'll be able to do it.'

"[The doctor said] the wrists are healthy enough to go racing. So, I was like okay, I'm screwed, I'm just gonna go try.

"I managed to get in the car on Friday. Anyway, it was a great life experience, makes for a great dinner story..."

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Stroll was visibly struggling with pain after getting out of the car and said his wrists made it difficult for him to go flat out.

"Yeah, I was in pain. Just trusting my wrists, like catching snaps...it doesn't give me the confidence to fully push the car 100% because that stuff is still difficult.

"Thanks to the whole medical team. Doctor Mir, my osteopath, there were so many people helping me out."

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