“I have my place in F1”

“I have my place in F1”

Lance Stroll will complete his fourth Formula 1 season on Sunday, on the occasion of the final stage of the World Championship, which will be presented in Abu Dhabi.

His bumpy journey still makes many observers say that his presence in the queen discipline of motorsport is only possible thanks to the fortune of his father, Lawrence.

We have to admit, however, that he was able to set the record straight in 2020, even though he experienced a worrying slump after his brilliant third place at the Italian Grand Prix in early September. .

“It is true that my first three seasons were difficult driving very average cars,” said the Quebec driver during a videoconference in which a few Canadian journalists participated on Thursday morning.

“But this year our car was more competitive and we had good results, like in Bahrain last week, where Sergio [Pérez] and I stepped onto the podium, Stroll said. If I had been less unlucky, my points collection would be better this year. “

When everything changed

The 22-year-old pilot, who will be in his 78e start in F1 on Sunday, occupied fourth place (tied with Briton Lando Norris) in the drivers’ standings at the end of the Italian Grand Prix in early September, with 57 points on the clock. Then everything changed.

“At the Mugello circuit,” he recalled, “a puncture deprived me of a place on the podium. I also made mistakes and contracted COVID-19, which made me miss the Eifel Grand Prix in Germany. The second half of the season was therefore more complicated, Stroll said. But I am satisfied with my two podiums and especially my leading position. “

This feat, achieved in Turkey, silenced many of its detractors. No matter the circumstances, rain or not, such a performance is quite remarkable.

Capable of bursts

It is not said that Stroll has shown that he has the makings of some other very talented pilots of his generation, including Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc or George Russell, but he is clearly capable of brilliant shots.

“Me, I answer these people by my performances on the track, he points out. I have my place in F1, although I am aware that I still have to improve. “

This leading position in Istanbul has reacted to world champions who have become analysts on TV.

“Yes, his father is rich,” said Damon Hill recently on the airwaves of the British network Sky Sports, “but it is not his fault. We can see that he can do great things in a good car. In Turkey, he showed great talent on a soggy track. “

A perfect ride

Jenson Button added: “He has to endure enormous pressure with this reputation as a son to … daddy.” He won wherever he went before coming to F1. We have to give him time. Today he is an F1 driver and deserves to be. “

Even Jacques Villeneuve, who has never been a great defender of Stroll, also admitted that his compatriot had completed a perfect lap in Turkey.

“He was impressive,” said the world champion in 1997. He often shines when the conditions on the track are difficult. He didn’t make a mistake. “

Words that made Stroll react, especially in the case of Villeneuve. “Coming from him, replied the Quebec pilot, I will accept it. It’s good to hear it that way. It does not happen often… “

The third place at stake

Sergio Pérez’s victory last week at the Sakhir GP, combined with the presence on the podium of his teammate Stroll, allowed Racing Point to regain third place in the F1 constructors’ standings.

This team championship is crucial, as it’s millions of dollars of difference determined by the final standings.

“The stakes are high,” explains Stroll. It’s more money in the team’s coffers, more money also to develop a better car next year. “

Behind the untouchables Mercedes (540 points) and Red Bull (282), the Racing Point (194), McLaren (184) and Renault (172) teams are competing for this coveted “best of the others” place. A team can amass a maximum of 44 points if its two drivers score the double and one of them achieves the fastest lap in the race, which Mercedes has done three times this year.

“I have my place in F1”

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