He may have paid his way into the sport, but Lance Stroll’s racing CV is as respectable as those without the money. After a steady first two seasons at Williams, including a podium finish at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Stroll moved to Racing Point in 2019 and has since taken further podium finishes and a pole position.
|Full Name||Lance Stroll|
|Date of Birth||29th October 1998|
|First Race||2017 Australian Grand Prix|
Montreal-born Lance Stroll first had his eyes opened to the racing world when he was given a kart at the age of five by his business man father and keen motorsport enthusiast Lawrence Stroll. He began his karting career in 2008, winning a number of races and championships in Canada. He was crowned the Federation de Sport Automobile du Quebec rookie of the year, aged ten. In 2010, he was signed up to Ferrari’s Young Driver Academy.
Stepping up to single-seaters in 2014, Stroll competed with the Prema team in the Italian F4 Championship, where he dominantly won the title with seven race wins. He won the New Zealand Toyota Racing Series in early 2015, before contesting in European F3. He won a race at the final meeting of the year, but also caused some controversy along the way. He was disqualified in Monza after he caused a huge crash with Antonio Giovinazzi and then at the next meeting in Spa, he was penalised for contact in the first race, caused a crash eliminating the leading three drivers in the second race and was banned from the third race as a result. Nevertheless, he came back stronger in 2016 and convincingly won the title with fourteen wins.
Stroll quit the Ferrari Young Drivers Academy at the end of 2015, with the Williams F1 team signing him up as a development driver in 2016. The team announced him as race driver for 2017, one month after his F3 title success.
Having crashed his car multiple times in winter testing in 2017, the rookie went into the season already being billed as the ‘next Maldonado’. Flash forward four races, and Stroll was yet to finish a Grand Prix, partly due to poor reliability. Things began to change as he scored his first points on home soil in Montreal, then scored one of the shock results of the season – a podium finish on a memorable afternoon in Azerbaijan. He scored points at seven races and started on the front row in Monza, becoming the youngest ever driver to do so. His qualifying was somewhat hit and miss in his début season, but his pre-season reputation as the new crash king didn’t prevail, as only one of his retirements in 2017 was due to his own fault.
Williams kept the Canadian youngster on for 2018, but their car didn’t give much of an opportunity for Stroll to develop his skills any further. For a second season in a row, Stroll was out-qualified by his team-mate more often than not, though in 2018 he was the only Williams driver to reach the final part of qualifying, at Monza, and he finished ahead in the points battle – not that there were many to be scored in the uncompetitive car. Just like in 2017, Baku and Monza provided the highlights in 2018, being Stroll’s only points-scoring races throughout the season.
STROLL IN 2019
The statistics show that Lance Stroll was Formula 1’s best starter in 2019, gaining a massive 38 positions in total on the first lap during the 21 Grands Prix – twelve more than any other driver. That perhaps says more about the relative pace of his Racing Point car and his out of position qualifying results.
In his first year at Racing Point – the team which his father owns – Stroll scored 21 points. His best result was fourth place in the hectic German Grand Prix, thanks to a spot on strategy call. While team-mate Sergio Perez reached Q3 on four occasions, the only time Stroll reached the final part of qualifying was in Italy. The only race he lost positions in? Italy. Stroll racked up fourteen Q1 exits this season, by far the most of any driver aside from the Williams pair.
The team made a step forward in the second half of the year, with Perez scoring in eight of the last nine races. In that time, Stroll scored only three points. Regardless, Stroll’s place at the team seems safe for as long as his father is in charge.Read more: Lance Stroll’s 2019 Season In Stats.
STROLL IN 2020
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. Read more: Lance Stroll’s 2020 F1 Season In Stats.
LANCE STROLL’S F1 RECORD
|Year||Team||Final Position||Points Scored||Wins||Poles||Podiums|