With Verstappen running on those hypersofts and Turn 1 providing a concrete overtaking opportunity to the fierce Dutch driver, it felt like we could be in for some action between Bottas and him during the 1st lap itself.
Verstappen and Bottas ran wheel-to-wheel but Bottas managed to fend Verstappen off. But the opening lap action wasn’t restricted to just the battle at the top, as we witnessed Stroll and Hartley get involved in a terrible crash that ended the race for both drivers.
The duo were taken to the hospital for scans but thankfully no damage was done.
Stroll later revealed what exactly led to the crash.
“I had a good start and gained a few positions,” Stroll said, as quoted by BBC.
“I was side-by-side with Brendon going into turn five.
“The car got loose on me, I corrected it, but there was not much room for both of us. And by the time I collected it we touched.” he added.
The stewards looked into the incident immediately but later deemed it as a racing incident with no particular driver held at fault.
“Car number 18 [Stroll] lost the rear in turn five,” the steward statement read.
“As both cars were in close proximity they collided, no driver was predominantly to blame for the incident.” they added.
It was heartbreaking for both drivers to end the race prematurely, but more so for Lance Stroll who was racing in his hometown and would have wanted to give his fans something to cheer about tonight. Sadly, it just wasn’t meant to be.