Lance Stroll admits a possible podium at Formula 1’s German Grand Prix “slipped away” due to a costly mistake on his behalf.

The Racing Point driver, who ended his unwanted 14-race streak of Q1 eliminations during qualifying, languished outside of the points for much of the race until an inspired gamble to switch onto slick tyres in changeable conditions helped him move up the order. 

Stroll ran in second place until an error at Turn 8 enabled Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat to sneak past. The Canadian then lost third spot to the recovering Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and ultimately claimed a strong fourth, finishing less than a second behind Kvyat.

“When the team told me I was P1 I was still kind of exploring the grip, but I was on my tyres for two laps at that stage, and the other guys came out of the pits with warmer tyres,” Stroll explained.

“I was still losing temperature at that stage, so I was gaining grip, and they came out with fresh tyres.

“Initially I didn’t have very good pace on the slicks, but once everyone settled in, I had quite good pace, and we were in the hunt for a podium.

"Unfortunately it slipped away from us today. I made an error in Turn 8 on my second or third lap on slicks, and that allowed Kvyat to overtake me.

"If only that wouldn’t have happened, I think we had the podium today. But it’s still a great result, P4.”

Asked how difficult it was to make the right calls in the conditions, Stroll replied: “We got it wrong four out of the five times!

“We went on slicks, then it started raining, then I spun twice in one lap, so I was limping back to the pit lane.

“We fitted the inters, and then it was dry, and it started to dry up, so we fitted another set of inters because we were destroying those inters, and then we fitted the slicks at the end.

“I’ll have to rewatch the race and figure it all out, because it’s a lot to reflect on and explain in detail. It was definitely an exciting one, and it goes to show that in these conditions, it’s never over until it’s over."

 

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