Lance Stroll’s presence in the Racing Point line-up is no mystery to anyone, as his father bought the team in 2018.
While his results paled alongside those of Sergio Perez, Stroll said he benefitted from being able to compare himself with his team mate.
“It always helps. I think at the end of the day, you have to be your own artist on the race track, drive the car as you want to drive it and set up the car accordingly.
“But of course it’s always good to have a benchmark and someone with experience like him has been great to have alongside me. Someone I can view and understand how it can be better. I was very fortunate to have that this year, to have someone like him that I can look alongside and and understand where I can be better, what I can do better.”
Qualifying: Lap time
The lower the lines, the better the driver performed
An obvious area where Stroll must do better is qualifying. Perez was consistently the quicker of the two over a single lap, barring a couple of ‘outliers’ late in the season.
“In general with team mates you pick up on little details, different driving styles,” said Stroll. “There’s a difference in how we set up the car and then it’s taking away the pros and cons from every weekend: What I do, what my strengths are, what his strengths are, how I can build on my strengths and how I can improve my weaknesses.”
Stroll reckons there isn’t “one general thing” which explains the difference in their results, “I think it’s just more the trend throughout the year with team mates.
“Different team mates have different strengths and weaknesses. It’s just been about learning what his strengths are and how I can apply that to what I do and how I drive the car and how I set up the car.”
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Race: Start versus finish
Starting generally at the lower end of the midfield, Stroll gave himself a lot to do on race day. Like Daniil Kvyat, when he did reach the top 10 it was usually in the lower two positions, with the exception of Germany.
“As long as you’re in the mix, 12th and above I think is important,” said the driver who only started higher than 12th once all year.
“We’ve gone a bit better in qualifying over the second half of the year. Unfortunately had some bad luck in the races so we couldn’t score as many points.
“The first half of the year was a challenge in qualifying, but then on Sundays we always managed to score points.”
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Race: Share of points
Stroll’s haul of 21 points came from six top-10 finishes. They included a 12-point windfall in Germany which came about thanks to an audacious switch to slick tyres which saw him briefly lead the field at one stage (though he did not officially lead a lap at the start/finish line).
Race: How many times Stroll beat each other driver
Stroll expects much better things from this year. “Just coming back for a second season in the same environment with more experience, it’s a big, big benefit that’s for sure.
“I can only tell you next year, but I do believe that if I could do every weekend over again this year, I could do it a lot better, just unlocking the full potential of the car in many ways. It’s tricky in Formula 1. I think experience will definitely help.”
Stroll is certain he made significant gains in his second year at Williams in 2018 which were masked by the deficiencies of that car. Having adjusted to a new team and team mate last year, he will enjoy consistency in both respects this year – the first time in his career he has done so. Appreciable improvements are therefore to be expected.
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Race: Reasons for retirements
|Spain||Collision with Norris|
2019 F1 season
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