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Lance Stroll cleared to race for Aston Martin at Bahrain Grand Prix despite injury concerns

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll missed testing after suffering a wrist injury while cycling in Spain; he underwent minor surgery and will race on the opening weekend; watch the Bahrain Grand Prix live on Sky Sports Main Event, with practice starting from 11am on Friday

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Craig Slater and David Croft confirm that Lance Stroll is fit to race at the season opener in Bahrain after recovering from injuries suffered in a bicycle accident.

Lance Stroll will race for Aston Martin at this weekend's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix despite doubts over his participation after an "unfortunate accident".

Stroll missed pre-season testing in Bahrain after suffering a wrist injury in a cycling accident in Spain, that required "minor surgery".

Felipe Drugovich replaced Stroll in the test and was on call to replace him this weekend, but the Canadian has been cleared to take part.

"It was frustrating not to be out in Bahrain for the pre-season test, and I was disappointed to miss the three days of running," he said.

"However, given the injury to my wrist, the team and I felt it was best to focus on recovery so that I would be ready for this weekend and the long season ahead.

"It was an unfortunate accident - I fell from my bike when my tyre caught a hole in the ground - but thankfully the damage was not significant and a successful minor surgery on my right wrist fixed the problem very quickly. Since then, I've been working hard with my team to ensure that I am fully fit to compete this weekend.

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Lawrence Stroll believes the changes made behind the scenes are bringing Aston Martin to a 'whole new level' and ultimately fighting for championships in the future.

"I would like to thank the F1 community for their support and privacy, as well as the team who have helped my recovery.

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"Now I'm ready to get my head down and concentrate on racing this weekend - something I'm really looking forward to."

Both Drugovich and Stoffel Vandoorne will remain on site as Aston Martin's reserve drivers this weekend.

Speaking on Sky Sports News, David Croft said: "Lance has been in the sim back at Silverstone in the Aston Martin factory, he has been subjected to a load test while he has been in the sim, and he has been given the all clear by the team.

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Aston Martin reserve driver Felipe Drugovich brings out the first red flag of the 2023 F1 season, although it appears to be through no fault of the driver.

"He has had minor surgery on the right wrist, we believe there was a minor fracture on that wrist. He has come through all the tests and will be getting in the car.

"They've got their two main drivers for this race and the rest of the season. Stoffel wasn't here for the test, he has come straight from Cape Town. Felipe of course drove a couple sessions in the test.

"It's standard procedure that both would remain at the track to help their learning. In Felipe's case, F2 champion, but he has never raced in Formula 1 as yet. It completes this season his integration into Formula 1.

"I don't think there is anything suspicious with them going to be here. The team would like all bases covered, just in case Lance can't race. There is a difference between him being getting in the sim, to then getting on the track."

Formula 1 is back! Watch the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. The track action starts on Friday while Sunday's race begins at 3pm. Get Sky Sports

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