Lance Stroll has admitted that he went through a 'rough patch' during the 2020 F1 season following his crash in Mugello, and has explained the reasons behind this.
The Canadian crashed heavily at the Tuscan Grand Prix in September, with the incident prompting the race to be red-flagged. Later that month Stroll tested positive for coronavirus and was forced to miss the Eifel Grand Prix as a result. The Racing Point driver struggled upon his return and he believes that getting Covid contributed greatly to his dip in form.
"I went through a rough patch last year from post-Mugello for a few races," Stroll told RacingNews365.com among others. "I don't think it was all down to the crash. I think in some races [I was] maybe in a difficult position. In Russia I got hit by one of the Ferraris and that took me out of the race which was a little bit unfortunate.
"Then after that I got Covid which took me out of the German Grand Prix, but probably affected me quite a bit for the following two grand prix. [I had] no energy physically, [was] not in the best place mentally. I think I underestimated how much of a toll the virus would take on me. I felt like I did struggle quite a bit physically in those races."
Stroll managed to recover his form at the Turkish Grand Prix, where he took his first ever pole position, and also secured a podium finish in Sakhir. Whilst he feels regret over the loss of points from his 'rough patch', the Aston Martin driver feels that he learned from it.
"It was unfortunate we lost a lot of World Championship points," Stroll explained. "[There are] definitely some things to learn from that experience.
"On a positive note, we did finish off the season much stronger, but still the competition was much stronger towards the end of the year. The last couple of races [were] not the same as the beginning of the season where we were often cruising, fourth and fifth, even sometimes better than that with both cars.
"The competition, the game changing throughout the season between all the teams, that's definitely something that I think will continue this year. It's going to be a very competitive midfield again, so we just have to get our heads down and do the job."