During Q2 for the Hungarian Grand Prix, Lance Stroll lost the rear exiting turn 9 resulting in him spearing across the track and planting the car nose-first in the barriers on the inside of the track, damaging the new and improved front wing of his Williams FW41.
With Williams having a finite supply of new parts, Stroll was faced with the prospect of reverting back to the old, troublesome front wing that caused both he and Sirotkin such grief in the first part of the season for the race, and a penalty for changing parts under Parc Ferme conditions to boot. A miserable Sunday beckoned.
It is rumoured that Lawrence Stroll, on finding this out, insisted that Williams remove the undamaged new front wing from Sirotkin’s car, and bolt it to his son’s, leaving Sirotkin with the old-spec wing and the penalty, pointing to the girth of his wallet for extra persuasiveness.
Paddy Lowe, apparently, and fully justifiably refused, arguing that since it was Stroll’s error it was only fair that he take the downgrade and the penalty that accompanied it. He also made Stroll Snr. aware that Sergey Sirotkin also provides a lot of financial support to the team and his backers might not be too happy if their driver was hamstrung in such circumstances.
A heated row ensued, Lowe stood firm and Stroll took the old wing and the penalty.
Good luck to whoever might partner Stroll at Force India in 2019. You could be Juan Manuel Schumacher, but if your team-mate’s dad owns the team, you’re #2 driver.
And kudos to Williams for standing their ground. The right thing to do in the face of complete twattery.