Lance Stroll says he is saddened to see his former team Williams struggles ahead of the start of the 2019 Formula 1 season. 

Williams was absent from the first two days of running in the opening pre-season test at Barcelona after delays with its 2019 F1 car, the FW42. 

The Grove-based squad’s new car arrived at the Spanish Grand Prix venue in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with the team working to get out on-track and finally kick off its pre-season programme.

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Stroll, who made his grand prix debut with Williams in 2017 and contested 41 races with the team, made the switch to the rebranded Racing Point squad for 2019 following his father’s takeover of the former Force India team. 

“I don’t know the ins and outs so I won’t comment on that but it’s a shame to see them sitting on the sidelines,” Stroll said. 

Asked if he was relieved not to be at Williams, Stroll replied: “I’d be lying if I said no, so yes! 

“It’s better to be driving than standing here. But I wish them all the best to recover.”

After teammate Sergio Perez managed just 30 laps on Monday, Stroll spent his first day in the cockpit of Racing Point’s 2019 car conducting a variety of run lengths as he racked up 79 laps and set the 11th best time.

“We did quite a bit of running and we had a productive day,” Stroll explained.

“Racked up some good amount of laps and you know we got the chance to test plenty of items which is good. 

“It’s a new chapter and I’ve been looking forward to it over the winter, at the edge of my seat waiting for this day to come just to get in the car like everyone else.

“It’s always just nice to get back into it, get a feel for it. 

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