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Sport

Racing Point say hidden front wing damage slowed Stroll

Formula One F1 - Turkish Grand Prix - Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey - November 15, 2020 Racing Point's Lance Stroll and Racing Point's Sergio Perez in action during the race REUTERS/Kenan Asyali

(Reuters) - Hidden front wing damage played a significant part in dashing Lance Stroll’s Turkish Grand Prix hopes after he led from pole position, the Canadian’s Racing Point Formula One team said on Monday.

Stroll, whose Mexican team mate Sergio Perez finished second, was leading the race until he pitted for fresh intermediate tyres on lap 36 at Istanbul Park.

The 22-year-old then slid down the order, ending up ninth, after reporting heavy tyre graining.

“It was discovered during the team’s routine after race car set down that damage to the underside of Lance’s front wing was a significant contributor to the severe graining issues,” Racing Point said in a statement.

“Lance reported poor tyre performance, significant understeer, and graining from lap 17 onwards in the race.

“Pitting for a fresh set of intermediates on lap 36 failed to resolve the problem with the graining becoming even more severe.”

Racing Point said a strake on the underside of the wing had come loose and caused a blockage leading to a significant loss of front downforce and increased graining.

“It was only after the race, when the car returned to the garage, that the damage and blockage to the underside of the front wing was discovered,” the team said.

Stroll told reporters after the race, won by Mercedes’ now seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton from sixth position, that he did not understand what had happened.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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