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Formula 1 Qatar GP

"In a rut" Stroll says he and trainer "cool" after Qatar F1 garage incident

Lance Stroll ‘f***ing hates having bad days’ and admits frustration is affecting the whole Aston Martin Formula 1 team at a Qatar weekend when he appeared to push his trainer.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

During the Friday qualifying shootout for the grand prix, Stroll was eliminated in 17th place - his fourth Q1 exit in a row.

When he returned to the pits, he threw his steering wheel out the car and seemed to shove trainer Henry Howe aside as he made his way out the back of the team garage.

Footage of this incident drew widespread criticism online, but the Canadian reckoned his emotional reaction was a reflection on a frustration impacting the whole Aston Martin squad.

“We're in a rut and it's not getting better,” said Stroll. “Frustration is, I think, in the whole group right now. I mean, we want to do better, we want to get better, but it's just a struggle right now.”

Stroll attributed his struggles to car balance, which switches between understeer and snap oversteer - something he admits team-mate Fernando Alonso can more easily drive around.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Asked how he was dealing with the disappointment, Stroll said: “I f***ing hate having a bad day. It's not going to change.”

The driver also replied "for sure" when asked if he still enjoyed driving in F1.

Autosport understands Stroll, who steers clear of social media, was surprised that the incident with his trainer created such a stir, and he did consider posting a message to clarify the situation.

It is believed that Stroll bubbled over because, rather than having time to process events, Howe directed him to go immediately to the FIA garage to be weighed.

This is a process that has been expedited following a recent directive introduced to avoid drivers having the scope to take on excess fluid or pick up their phones before heading to the scales.

Asked by Autosport if he and Howe had cleared the air after the incident, the driver replied: “We're good.”

Aston’s media team tried to move the conservation away from the events on Friday before Stroll added: “No, no. Keep going. You got another question?”

It was then raised that in other working environments, disciplinary action might be considered for his outburst.

Stroll continued: “We're good. He's a bro. We go through their frustrations together and we ride together, so we're cool.”

There were some calls for the incident to be looked at by the FIA, which handed Max Verstappen a community service punishment (observing the stewards at a Formula E event) for shoving Esteban Ocon after the pair collided in the 2018 Brazilian GP. However, this case will not be escalated.

The FIA declined to officially comment when approached by Autosport.

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