Lance Stroll, Williams, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017

Stroll: Sixth place a great birthday present

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll says that his sixth place finish in the Mexican Grand Prix was ‘a great birthday present’.

The Williams rookie, who turned 19 years old on race day, was able to move up the field to take sixth place at the chequered flag after he started from just outside the top ten.

“I knew that we could score points from 11th today,” says Stroll. “It was a great race. I knew that we had good race pace coming into today and it was just about controlling the race and capitalising on our race pace and we did exactly that today.

“We managed to gain positions, we overcut Perez and got in front of him after the pitstop and then we were hunting down Ocon. We just missed out on getting him, I think maybe a couple of laps it would’ve been possible. But P6 on my birthday is a great present.”

Sixth place was Stroll’s fourth top ten finish from his last six races and his best result since he took a maiden podium in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Stroll now has more points this season than veteran team mate Felipe Massa.

“I think it’s not the first time this year that we’ve really done a good job as a team,” Stroll says.

“We went through some hard times but we’ve had some great times and today is one of those days that we need to embrace and enjoy it. A bag full of points and sixth place is pretty much all we can ask for with the car with have today. There’s a lot of positivity going forward and we really believe as a group that we can keep improving and get better and stronger.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 16 comments on “Stroll: Sixth place a great birthday present”

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      30th October 2017, 2:24

      If only Hulk had this kid’s luck…

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        30th October 2017, 9:46

        I think they had had roughly equal reliability and bad luck. Stroll may have cost himself a in China, but Hulkenberg had a terrible race there too with 2 penalties and 4 penalty points as well. He also possibly cost himself a podium in Baku by making a rather careless mistake by turning into a corner too early. I also think Stroll has been a little unlucky with incidents and reliability. Australia, Bahrain, Japan and 1 or 2 others I think were all retirements out of his control. Hulkenberg sure has been unlucky as in missed out on things when the car has looked very capable, but 1 was of his own doing. The others though such as the recent 3 have been very unlucky. I can agree there. Sorry if you were just referring to the recent races!

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          30th October 2017, 13:31

          @gianthogweed you cannot be seriously comparing their luck – aside from the fact that Stroll wouldn’t even be in Formula 1 if his father wasn’t a billionaire, Stroll has scored 60% of his points in 2 races where he was the sole survivor. If Hulk had his luck he would have scored at least 1-2 podiums this season.

          As it stands, Stroll has outscored Hulk (and Massa) and I’m not sure he’s been driving faster or better than Kvyat throughout the season who has 4 points and shown the door.

    2. As Martin Brundle said during the race, Stroll seems to have two kinds of days: when he’s on it and there’s a chance of a good result, he’s really on it, but then there are off days where he simply drives around the back of the field. Would be nice to see more of the former.

      1. Agreed. But then he is a young rookie, and the car hasn’t exactly been stellar either. I’d say he’s gained some good experience this season. Some highs and some lows like all drivers experience.

    3. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      30th October 2017, 7:51

      Can’t believe for all the stick this lad’s had he’s actually the stronger Williams driver this year.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        30th October 2017, 9:57

        That is a bit much to say….

        If you want me to compare them, I can and will. But Massa very likely has missed out on over 50 points this season while Stroll has missed out on nothing like that. I think Massa would be ahead of Ocon and practically tied with Perez if not for his ridiculously bad luck this year.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          30th October 2017, 10:13

          True. I’m just not a fan of Massa.

        2. I wonder how far Massa could have got yesterday if he didn’t cost himself and Vettel a lot of time, and likely tyre-life with that very robust defending against a faster car that was bound to get by him @rdotquestionmark and @thegianthogweed – no I am not a fan of Massa either, I often like him, but lately he seems bitter, and on track he tends to be a monster to get by, but often at the cost of his own progress in the race, like yesterday.

          Clearly, on Saturdays he tends to still be faster than Stroll, who still needs to improve there, but I am not sure it’s fully coincidence Stroll got the big points positions when the opportunity was there both in Baku and yesterday.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        30th October 2017, 13:19

        @rdotquestionmark but Stroll didn’t really have a great race – everyone else around him had a bad race… He just drove and I’m going to guess he drove relatively slowly…

    4. Stroll has improved a lot since day 1,his qualy pace isn’t that good yet,but yesterday he had so much luck!
      Massa & Hulk who were in front of him had huge issues.The one got an slow punchure & the other DNFed from P5(?).Dainz spun aswell in lap 2 & got out of contention.Then,he jumped Perez when VSC was deployed…Massa & Stroll have different luck:When the one gets the worst luck possible(usual for Massa),the other is having a great race with many DNF for others(like Canada,Baku,Mexico).

      1. Yeah,i invented a new driver,Carlos Dainz.Sainz obviously

    5. One thing’s for sure: het has outperformed my (and probably most other couch experts’) expectations!

      1. But he is still slower than Massa, a driver that is not on his prime anymore. He should reach at least Bottas level to see a future on F1.

    6. Yeah, nice ‘present’. Or ‘gift from the heavens’, to use a more precise term.

    Comments are closed.