The Racing Point Formula 1 team believes Lance Stroll’s big performance drop during the Turkish Grand Prix was caused by front wing damage.

Stroll led 32 laps of Sunday’s wet-weather race at Istanbul Park after taking his maiden pole position in qualifying but lost pace in the second half of the race after pitting for new intermediates having encountered severe graining on his first set.

Things failed to improve on new inters and Stroll dropped down the order on his way to finishing ninth at the finish.

After the race, Racing Point discovered previously unseen damage to the underside of Stroll’s front wing which had resulted in a loss of downforce that it believes contributed to the Canadian’s tyre woes.

"Lance complained of poor tyre performance, significant understeer, and graining from lap 17 onwards in the race," a Racing Point statement read.

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

"One of the strakes on the underside of the front wing came loose and lodged itself in such a way that the blockage caused a significant loss of front downforce. The resultant loss of front downforce contributed to increased levels of graining.

"Data during the race confirmed there was a significant loss of front downforce, but with no visible damage to the top side of the front wing, combined with the low-grip conditions, it was difficult to confirm whether the data was correct.

"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.”

Sergio Perez stayed on on a worn set on intermediates and went on to claim second place with his first podium of the season which strengthened Racing Point’s position in the battle for third place in the constructors’ championship.

The Silverstone outfit currently sits third on 154 points, five clear of McLaren and 18 ahead of Renault.

 

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