Current Lance Stroll

He only signed for Williams a few days ago but there has already been a large amount of discussion about Lance Stroll. It was suggested he needed his own thread so here it is.

Lance Stroll first came on to my own radar when watching the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand during Jan 2015. Often used as a warm-up for young talent pre-season to get them used to proper car racing its always close racing. Lance was the tender age of 16 and part of the Ferrari young driver program. He was also massively impressive with 10 podiums (4 wins) from 16 races in a car he'd hardly driven and tracks he'd never raced on. He was the eventual champion and I mentally stored him as someone to watch out for. From the Toyota series he went straight into European F3 for the 2015 series and unfortunately I felt like he was dwarfed somewhat by the rest of the field who had more experience than him. He was going up against the likes of Felix Rosenquist, Antonio Giovanazzi and Charles LeClerc who were all older and looked far more impressive. Looking back on it though he didn't actually do too bad. One win, 4 podiums and 5th in the championship is not bad for a 16 year old, also if you look at his results he got stronger and stronger as the season went on which was a sure sign he was learning.

2016 saw Lance take it up a step, he has clearly been dominant in the F3 series and has 14 wins and the title with the series not even being finished yet. It was during this year that I learned something new about Lance. I learnt his father was a billionaire. Why did I learn this? Well he was suddenly being connected to the Williams F1 race seat, apparently due to his father investing heavily in the team. This appears to have been met with considerable vitriol from some quarters who are suggesting he is buying his way into F1 and doesn't deserve the seat. Stroll turned 18 on the 28th October which meant the Martini sponsored Williams team could finally announce him as a driver and within days there were already people writing about nepotism and putting $ in the spelling of his name. All this before he's even turned a wheel. Its a bit of a shame really that a driver who has been so utterly dominant of a highly rated junior series should be labelled a 'pay-driver'. The same people have probably spent the last few years moaning about Williams conservative driver choice in the form of Massa, so you think the promotion of an 18 year old F3 champion would be warmly welcomed.

On the driving front its really hard to know what to expect from Stroll in 2017 due to the fact that we have no idea where the Williams car will be. I have a horrible feeling that Williams are a team in decline and that Stroll is going to suffer for it. I also don't think he'll be quick straight out of the blocks either, which might give the haters an excuse. Stroll's pattern over the last two years is to be paired with a more experienced team mate and gradually learn the ropes and start to shine later in the year. I expect this to be repeated and for him to be out done by Bottas until at least the summer break. I wouldn't be surprised to see him start to get on level terms from then on it. Lets face it, Bottas comes highly rated so if he starts to beat him he's going to gain some kudos.

Lastly I think its great for F1 to have a Canadian back on the grid (Robert Wickens should have got a seat a while back by the way) as its a country that loves the sport and it'll be great for them to have someone to cheer on.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Stroll's lap times on that fresh rubber were pretty impressive. They only came about because he flat spotted his first set though. I wonder if thinking he'd already messed his race up made him relax somewhat and therefore perform better. He does have a lot of pressure to perform on him.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Bless him, when he was interviewed in the Mix Zone he looked like the kid he is and didn't really have any clue how to react to what happened in Bahrain. I was worried he might burst in to tears.
 

Olivier

Race Winner
He must be relieved to finally finish a race and just 1 spot from points. I foresee some points coming his way in Montreal.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
Il_leone You say Williams have the weakest driver line-up. Who could disagree, we're five races into the season and despite the stronger car - in comparison to Force India - the results have been dreadful.
Stroll didn't move anywhere did he and finished last. Massa even overtook him although he was 50 sec. behind him after his last pit stop. In total, Stroll was overtaken 3 times on the last two laps.
 
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Il_leone

Champion Elect
Rutherford

The next 3 races could be seriously tough for Stroll

Monaco where it seriously punishes mistakes and experience counts. These cars are unforgiveable if you make a mistake

Canada - his home race - the pressure is going to be immense

Azerbajan- a circuit he has not been to although it is a power circuit which may mask the deficiency of the Williams chassis
 
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Il_leone

Champion Elect
He's putting on a brave face.. was there odds on him crashing at Monaco in practice one?

How much is it for one position in the constructors table ?Williams with a strong driver pairing should be aiming for 4th but they are 6th right ?

Now if by a long shot Mclaren ,Toro Rosso and Renault get their act together because their driver pairings are stronger then Williams might end up being 9th
 
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Olivier

Race Winner
One can argue that he crashed because he was trying very hard to find the limits of the car, a-la Villeneuve, but definitively this doesn't bode well for Stroll or for the team ...
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
At the risk of coming over as Lance's protector - he is not the first driver to compare real tracks with PlayStation or make a joke about it being different. Sky did a whole feature around Lewis Hamilton doing just that. In this case though the quote fits the article they want to write.

Ya know I didn't even think the kid was that good in junior formula? I just get really pissed off when someone, anyone, is given an unfair ride. It does not matter what Lance Stroll does people have decided he's an undeserving rich kid. He could cure cancer right now and he'd still get a negative write up and told he's only achieved it because of his Daddy. That is the story people want to see

No wonder he's performing like crap.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
"If you don't touch the wall in Monaco, then you're not on the limit" - Stroll

Did he miss last years sessions, Verstappen, quite impressively, showed everyone in how not to touch or more precisely crash into the wall in a series of crashes.

Btw: He's performing like crap, because he belongs in F2 or GP3, but instead Daddy bought him his seat at Williams. It takes time and races to develop and mature, it's something one can't buy with money.
Most people aren't jealous, it's what they have been pointing out since it was announced that he would be driving for Williams.
His decision is making him look bad or even crap on the race track, not other people's comments about his driving.
It's not other people's fault that Maldonado reguarly smashed into someone or something, nor is it other people's fault that Mr. Palmer Jr. can't keep up with Hulkenberg, who was twice beaten by Sergio Perez at Force India.

Would Stroll be getting as much stick if he would be racing in F2 or GP3?
No, because there would be less media and he'd have the time to focus on improving his race craft and getting ready for F1.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
All this makes perfect sense if the stick and reasoning hadn't started BEFORE he got in an F1 car. Verstappen came in to F1 at a younger age and did not get the same level of abuse pre-season. He'd not even got the result background of Stroll either. He too also had a leg up from his dad but people Don't seem to mind that one.

I Don't think it's jealousy. I Don't think it's anything much. All your facts about him needing to develop etc are correct. But the fact is the media is telling the story it decided it wanted to tell prior to the season beginning because they decided they didn't like his money background. Mr Stroll senior built himself an empire and used his money to give his kid the best opportunity he could. Don't see much wrong with that.

It's interesting you should mention Verstappen and walls at Monaco. Prior to this weekend he'd manage to hit a wall in nearly every session he'd raced in at Monaco and it was hailed as a young talent giving his all and learning.

All depends on which story you want to tell.

Anyways I'm not going to go on a out it anymore. I'm sure you'll come back with reasons why I'm wrong (along with my postcode or something too) but the bias against this kid is so obvious it's painful.
 
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Rutherford

Podium Finisher
All this makes perfect sense if the stick and reasoning hadn't started BEFORE he got in an F1 car. Verstappen came in to F1 at a younger age and did not get the same level of abuse pre-season. He'd not even got the result background of Stroll either. He too also had a leg up from his dad but people Don't seem to mind that one.

It's interesting you should mention Verstappen and walls at Monaco. Prior to this weekend he'd manage to hit a wall in nearly every session he'd raced in at Monaco and it was hailed as a young talent giving his all and learning.

Verstappen doesn't have the result background of Stroll but he was competing against the top driver in F3 as soon as he stepped into the series. It didn't take him any time to adapt, he was quick straight out of the box after moving from karting to Formula racing. That in itself shows how talented he is and why he got the driver at Red Bull.
He also got the driver, because Red Bull didn't want to lose him to Mercedes which is why they offered him the race seat at Toro Rosso.
The difference between Strolls and Verstappens dad is that Verstappen Sr. may be helping to promote Verstappen Jr., who was only in a junior programme, but he doesn't have the capabilities of Stroll Sr., who bought Williams a new simulator, invested in Prema and spent 80 Mio. $ to get his son in the race seat at Williams.

I wouldn't mind him doing a Glock, i.e. racing in F2 for a year or two but that option is out of question, because times have changed and he'll be scrutinised there too, especially if the results aren't at the top end of the scale.

I mentioned Verstappen, because it can happen that a driver finds himself in the barrier. Verstappen has crashed here four times since 2015, except for 2015 it seemed to be no issue to most people. Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Schumacher, nearly everyone crashes here.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Hamiltons first two Monaco Grands Prix saw him 2nd and 1st. Verstappen's have seen him climbing out of the car after hitting Grosjean and the wall.

And he's not confined it to the race either.

His Monaco record is absolutely dire; anyone saying otherwise is a peddler of absolute horseshit.
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
i can understand the playstation problems because it is quite realistic now & is the way you can get to know monaco as it only open for 3 days a year, if your pushing & i admit i always struggle with understeer through casino square, when you get in a car. it going to be in your head.

Stroll in hindsight yes it couldve been a great idea to put him GP2 & let him develop. but Verstappen has ruined it abit for youngsters as how many of us were worried in melbourne 2015 as 17yr old he's too young think some pundits called it dangerous, go into GP2 max develop your talents come in 2016. but max ended up as the 2015 driver of the yr with some stunning drives. then post russia 2016, Its too soon for the senior team let him develop at Toro Rosso we dont want him to be damaged in glare of the media he wins on his senior team debut & then that stunning drive in brazil. proves us all wrong again.

so really nobody knows how people will react until they are in the car & i dont see how people can give stick to stroll for crashing at monaco as F1 greatest drivers & most of the current grid had have been in the wall at some point
 
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RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Verstappen doesn't have the result background of Stroll but he was competing against the top driver in F3 as soon as he stepped into the series. It didn't take him any time to adapt, he was quick straight out of the box after moving from karting to Formula racing.

Just for the purposes of facts Stroll was top 4 right from the start when be entered F3 and finished 5th in the championship, this was in a year of multiple returning drivers. Prior to this In his first year in cars he won Italian F4 and then the winter Toyota series in New Zealand.

Verstappen got his F1 seat as quick as he did due his Dad's connections. I have no issue with that. But why is Stroll vilified for the same thing? Nepotism is acceptable but money Isn't? It's an odd one.

Basically the press have done the whole 'wonder kid' storyline and have gone for the 'waste of a seat' storyline.

I really am going to shut up now.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
Just for the purposes of facts Stroll was top 4 right from the start when be entered F3 and finished 5th in the championship, this was in a year of multiple returning drivers. Prior to this In his first year in cars he won Italian F4 and then the winter Toyota series in New Zealand.

Strolls results weren't as impressive as Verstappens, partly because he already had Formula experience and Verstappen didn't and yet he was competing against drivers with experience in Formula racing and that already had raced in F3.
How many races did Stroll and Verstappen win in their first year?
Stroll: 1
Verstappen: 10

Furthermore, Prema and Carlin are the top teams, Van Amersfoort is considered to be a "good" team in the category, maybe that's also a factor.

Verstappen got his F1 seat as quick as he did due his Dad's connections. I have no issue with that. But why is Stroll vilified for the same thing? Nepotism is acceptable but money Isn't? It's an odd one.

Verstappen got his seat due to incredibly impressive results in F3, although it was his first year in Formula racing. 10 wins, 16 Podiums, 7 Pole positions, 7 FL.
Strolls results last year with experience in F4 and F3: 14 wins, 20 Podiums, 14 Poles, 13 FL.

Verstappen came into F1 because of his results, Red Bull wanted him, because they support and nurture young talents. Good results are a major selling point, without them Verstappen Sr. connections wouldn't have helped.

Basically the press have done the whole 'wonder kid' storyline and have gone for the 'waste of a seat' storyline.

Yes, because he bought his way into F1 and put himself under this kind of scrutiny - that's way it isn't acceptable to buy one's way into F1, because on is expected to perform and Stroll isn't even close to performing at level which would be considered acceptable by F1 standards.
He is crashing and being dominated by Felipe Massa. That would do no one any favours.
This is F1 people expect the drivers to be prepared for the challenge, like Vettel, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ocon, Bianchi etc..
 
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