Lance Stroll recorded his maiden pole position and visited the podium twice during his fourth year in Formula 1. Here are the facts and statistics from Stroll’s 2020 season.
Lance Stroll completed the fewest laps of any driver in 2020. After retiring from the first race of the year, the Canadian went on to record seven successive points-scoring races, culminating in the second podium finish of his career with third place at the Italian Grand Prix. His good form was followed by a string of poor results. He failed to finish any of the next four races, one of which – the Eifel Grand Prix – he missed after contracting coronavirus. Stroll recorded two more points finishes after this, including a further podium finish at the Sakhir Grand Prix, but was unable to finish in the top ten in the Drivers’ Championship.
It would be fair to say that Stroll was one of the most improved drivers in 2020. He closed the qualifying deficit to team-mate Sergio Perez, and scored a higher percentage of his team’s points than in 2019. Stroll even took pole position with a brilliant display in difficult conditions at the Turkish Grand Prix. Prior to 2020, Stroll had recorded only five Q3 appearances in his career. In 2020, he qualified in the top ten on eleven occasions. Stroll will continue at the Silverstone-based team in 2021 under its re-branded Aston Martin identity. His team-mate will be four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Austria: On Saturday at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, Lance Stroll recorded the sixth Q3 appearance of his career. It was the first time both Racing Point cars have reached Q3 since the 2018 United States Grand Prix. On Sunday, Stroll recorded a third consecutive retirement in the last three races.
Styria: With Lance Stroll reaching Q2, the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix marked only the second time in his career that the Canadian was not been eliminated in Q1 for three races in a row. The last time it happened was at the 2017 Chinese, Bahrain and Russian Grands Prix – the second, third and fourth races of his Formula 1 career.
Hungary: Lance Stroll recorded a then-career-best qualifying result with third at the Hungarian Grand Prix, marking only the second time that the Canadian has qualified in the top seven in his F1 career. He finished the race in fourth place, which marked the Silverstone-based team’s best result at the Hungarian Grand Prix since Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished fourth for Jordan in the 1999 event. Stroll became the first driver to start third at the Hungarian Grand Prix and fail to finish on the podium since Valtteri Bottas in 2014.
Britain: Finishing in ninth place at the 2020 British Grand Prix, Lance Stroll scored points for a third consecutive race. It was only the third time in his career that he has scored on three successive outings, and the first time he had done so since the 2017 Italian, Singapore and Malaysian Grands Prix. This was also the first time in his career that Stroll scored points at the British Grand Prix.
70th Anniversary: Lance Stroll recorded his best ever Silverstone result and the fifth top six result of his career with sixth place at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. It equalled the team’s best result at their home track since Sergio Perez finished sixth in 2016. A car from the Silverstone-based team had not finished in a better position at the circuit since Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished fourth in 1999.
Spain: Lance Stroll qualified fifth for the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, marking the first time that he had made it out of Q1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. On Sunday, he equalled his team’s best Spanish Grand Prix result, finishing in fourth place.
Belgium: Lance Stroll reached Q3 at Spa for the first time in his career, and recorded his best finishing position at the circuit with ninth place. The Canadian’s previous best result here was tenth in 2019.
Italy: Lance Stroll finished third at the Italian Grand Prix, recording the first podium finish for the Silverstone-based team at the Italian Grand Prix since Heinz-Harald Frentzen won for Jordan in 1999. Both of Stroll’s podium finishes tot his point came in races which had been red-flagged. The 2020 Italian Grand Prix was only the second race at Monza to feature a Canadian driver in the top three. The only other time it has happened was in 1979, when Gilles Villeneuve finished as runner-up.
Tuscany: For the first time since the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, Lance Stroll failed to finish at the Tuscan Grand Prix. He crashed out following a puncture.
Russia: After retiring on the first lap, Lance Stroll became the first driver to retire from the Russian Grand Prix having started from twelfth on the grid. He recorded his team’s first retirement at the circuit since 2016. It was the Canadian’s first non-finish at the circuit. Stroll retained his unwanted record of having never scored at Sochi Autodrom.
Eifel: Due to illness, later revealed to be coronavirus, Lance Stroll did not take part in the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix. This was the first race in which Stroll did not compete since the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ending a streak of 72 consecutive appearances.
Portugal: Lance Stroll was the only retirement from the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix. His third place at the Italian Grand Prix remained the last time he finished a race.
Emilia Romagna: After recording his worst qualifying result of the season to date with fifteenth place, Lance Stroll finished the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in thirteenth place, making this the fifth consecutive race in which he failed to score.
Turkey: In a chaotic qualifying session, Lance Stroll became Formula 1’s 101st polesitter. Stroll was the first Canadian to take pole position in F1 since Jacques Villeneuve at the 1997 European Grand Prix. At that race, Villeneuve was crowned World Champion. Stroll is the first driver to take pole in F1 who was born after the last Canadian champion was crowned. Stroll becomes F1’s fifth youngest polesitter. He finished the Turkish Grand Prix in ninth place, losing eight places during the race, which is the most positions he has lost in a Grand Prix which he has finished so far in his career. It was the first time that the polesitter has not finished on the podium in Turkey. This was only the ninth time in World Championship history that the driver who started on pole has finished ninth. Strangely, two of those occasions have been in races where a driver was crowned World Champion for a seventh time. Stroll led 32 laps of the race, making him the 175th driver to have led a Grand Prix.
Bahrain: Lance Stroll recorded his fourth retirement from the last six races in which he has competed. Stroll maintains his record of never scoring at the Bahrain Grand Prix, and this was his first retirement at the event since his maiden season.
Sakhir: Lance Stroll qualified in tenth place, marking the first time that he has reached Q3 at the Bahrain International Circuit. In the race, Stroll recorded his third podium finish. He became the 115th driver to record at least three top three finishes in F1. Stroll’s third place was the first time that he scored points at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Abu Dhabi: It was a weekend of firsts for Lance Stroll at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as he reached Q3 at the Yas Marina Circuit for the first time and scored his first point at the track.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.