Stroll: Not fair to compare my two seasons

  • 24 Dec 2018 15:12
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lance Stroll believes it is unfair to compare his two seasons of Formula 1. In 2017, the Canadian competed in his rookie season with Williams after winning the FIA Formula 3 European championship the year before.

In his maiden year in F1, Stroll bagged a podium finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and finished the season 12th the championship, three points behind veteran teammate Felipe Massa.

However, his 2018 campaign was much tougher, as Williams had aerodynamic difficulties with its car. The Grove squad was stuck as the backmarkers throughout the season, scoring just 7 points in 21 races - 6 of which came from Stroll.

And according to the 20-year-old, the extremities of the issues in 2018 make it very difficult to compare his two years in F1: "I don’t think it’s really fair to compare the two [or] judge the year in general,” he said. “It’s been a fire-fighting season.

“We picked up very few points but the few times that I picked up points were big highlights because we beat quicker cars around us. Same thing in qualifying: I scraped into Q2, got into Q3 in Monza, they’ve really been big achievements because it’s the performance has been really poor.

“All in all I do believe I’m a more complete driver today than I was a year ago. But I think that I just haven’t been able to demonstrate that due to the package. Which is the nature of the sport, that’s how it goes some years and you have to accept that as a driver.”

Next year, Stroll will compete with Racing Point alongside Sergio Perez, after his father bought the controlling stake in the team following its demise into administration. However, Stroll says that his potential is far from being reached.

“I would say the main thing is just experience,” he said. "I’ve learned so much with another season under my belt of Formula 1, time with the engineers, expanding my knowledge of Formula 1, the tyres, racing, qualifying. Just with seat time you learn so much and that’s far from done.

"I just turned 20 years old and I still believe I’m very far from reaching my full potential. Every year I try to keep chipping away at it. Over the winter this year I’m going to reflect and work on my weaknesses and build on my strengths.”

Replies (5)

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  • Well it's never been about fairness has it? Still, Lance's point is valid. He has a real chance to shed his pay driver reputation by shining at Force India. I saw flashes of brilliance in 2017, but mostly sub par performances. 2018 was hard tu judge, but he did get beaten in qualifying by an average F2 graduate. Looking forward to 2019

    • + 0
    • Dec 24 2018 - 15:48
    • Yes, every now and then in 2017 he looked pretty good, Baku comes to mind, but other than that Sterdust was not impressed. I'll give him 2019, if he dont do better there, my patience will be gone.

      • + 0
      • Dec 25 2018 - 16:14
  • I am really curious in his third season. Now there is no excuse anymore

    • + 2
    • Dec 24 2018 - 15:56
  • Bhurt

    Posts: 320

    The most interesting thing about Stroll in 2019 will be as a measure of the other drivers ranked near the top of the grid (like Perez, Hulk, Ocon). If Perez can't manage to handily dominate Stroll we have to conclude one of two things:

    - that those drivers mentioned really are no better than the drivers who have been running in backmarker cars over the past several seasons

    - that Stroll is severely underrated (which would mean Sirotkin too is a lot better than people give him credit for)

    I'm certainly no fan of Stroll but I don't think Perez runs circles around him either. Most of the drivers on the grid are fairly equal in abilities I'd say, which is why the drivers championship means next to nothing to me since really only one or two drivers are even eligible to win it in any given season.

    To make the drivers championship relevant, points should be weighted based on car performance. So a third place finish in a Merc should give much fewer points than a third place finish in a Force India or Renault.

    • + 0
    • Dec 25 2018 - 20:28
  • It's a fair point, but really most of the critics get it that it was virtually impossible to accurately assess his or Sirotkin's performance in the given machinery. I was glad to see, and thought it the honorable thing to do, for him to stick out the season with Williams after dad bought Force India. So I'll give him that. It must have been a hard pill to swallow.

    • + 0
    • Dec 26 2018 - 03:16

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