Lance Stroll believes a first Formula 1 victory was possible at the Italian Grand Prix but was left frustrated that a slow start on the red flag restart cost him.

After Racing Point opted not to pit Stroll under two Safety Car periods, Stroll had found himself in second place when the race was interrupted by a red flag period following Charles Leclerc’s incident.

Stroll was able to capitalise on a free tyre swap under the red flag which saved him a pit stop and put him in the box seat to move into the lead after Lewis Hamilton was handed a stop-go penalty for entering the pit lane when it was closed.

But a poor getaway at the restart resulted in Stroll dropping back to fifth place, before he managed to pass the Alfa Romeos of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio to move back into the top three.

The Canadian was unable to challenge race-winner Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz as he ultimately settled for third place and a first podium finish since the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

But Stroll was left rueing what he felt was a missed opportunity.

"It has been a couple of years since I stood on the podium, so it feels good to be back, and it was such a crazy race," Stroll said.

"I am so happy for Pierre, he really deserved it as he had a really great start. He stayed consistent all the way throughout the race.

"It is a bit of a bummer. I think it was kind of mine to lose starting from second, but I just had no grip at the start. I had a ton of wheelspin and everyone flew by me.

"I had a good scrap with Carlos on the first couple of laps, and I overtook around the outside, but he got me again down into Turn 1.

"We were battling out there, so I am happy to pick up third. I think the win slipped away from us today, but third is great."

 

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