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Lance Stroll: Aston Martin driver to miss Formula 1 pre-season testing after 'minor' cycling accident

Lance Stroll involved in "minor accident" while cycling in Spain ahead of the 2023 F1 season; Aston Martin driver will miss pre-season testing, which begins in Bahrain on Thursday; reserve Stoffel Vandoorne and development driver Felipe Drugovich most likely candidates to fill seat

YAS MARINA CIRCUIT, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 17: Lance Stroll, Aston Martin during the Abu Dhabi GP at Yas Marina Circuit on Thursday November 17, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Carl Bingham / LAT Images)
Image: Lance Stroll was involved in a 'minor' cycling accident in Spain

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll will miss this week's Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain after suffering injuries in a "minor" cycling accident in Spain.

Aston Martin did not confirm whether Stroll, who is the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll, will be fit to race at the 2023 season opener, but said he would be "assessed daily" ahead of the March 3-5 Grand Prix, which is also in Bahrain.

It remains to be seen whether Aston Martin will replace Stroll at testing, which begins on Thursday, with an opportunity now having opened up for his new team-mate Fernando Alonso to get additional track time following his move from Alpine.

There is no obligation for teams to use a second driver over the three-day event in Sakhir, but with Aston Martin reserve Stoffel Vandoorne scheduled to be competing in Formula E in Cape Town, it is possible that reigning F2 champion Felipe Drugovich, the team's development driver, will get an unexpected opportunity.

An Aston Martin statement said: "Whilst pre-season training on a bicycle in Spain, Lance Stroll was involved in a minor accident and sustained injuries which will result in him sitting out the pre-season test in Bahrain.

"Lance is however expecting a quick recovery and return to driving duties. His fitness to return to the cockpit will be assessed daily and the team will issue an update ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

"The team wishes Lance a speedy recovery and looks forward to his usual energy and commitment within the team."

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Stroll, who has seen two-time world champion Alonso replace four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel as his team-mate during the off-season, is set to begin his seventh campaign in the sport.

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Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll give their thoughts at the launch of Aston Martin's car for the 2023 season

"I've had an unfortunate accident whilst training on my bike in preparation for the season," the 24-year-old Canadian said.

"I am determined to get back in the car and I am excited about the season ahead with the team. I am motivated to bounce back from this setback as quickly as possible."

News of Stroll's injury came just a few hours after Aston Martin had announced that Vandoorne and Drugovich would both also be available to competitors McLaren for the first 15 races of the season, should a situation arise where they were needed.

The agreement sees McLaren expand their pool of reserve options, with Mercedes' Mick Schumacher already having been made available to them in a similar agreement.

Pre-season testing and all 23 races in Formula 1's biggest-ever season are live on Sky Sports F1.

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