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.
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
Hamiltons first two Monaco Grands Prix saw him 2nd and 1st....

I seem to remember that in 2008 after about 6 laps Hamilton hit the wall at Tabac resulting in his pitting at the perfect time to get on the right tyres whilst losing very few places due to the wet roads spreading out the field.

Maybe it isn't such a bad thing to hit a wall after all.:D
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I think someone should point at that it is a sad state of affairs that a legendary name like Williams has resorted to employing drivers based on the money they can bring in not purely on talent more recently

Considering the other options Williams had available to them with the exception of Nasr, you wonder the rationale behind their decision. The blame surely has to be aimed some of it at Williams unless someone can tell me his Dad blackmailed the team if his son was not picked

It just does not sound like a smart comment you're trying to learn an F1 pack based on a computer game... would it not be better if it was a proper simulator
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
He is still very cautious as well (he jumped off the throttle and had a brown trouser moment when Vandorne swerved at him) so think there is more time there if he finds his confidence to go for it.

Nice for him to have his best race in Canada.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
is this is the turning point of stroll career, confidence boosting home grand prix & this weekend he's had a very good & 1 of few drivers to have a clean weekend. now outqualified Massa. because we did mention post austraila that Button Grosjean Massa & scheckter in the 70's were all have absolute stinkers of a start to career. but when on to be alright. maybe this is his turning point
 

marksawatsky

Podium Finisher
Contributor
So happy for Lance, this might be the first time he has held a champagne bottle so he needs to go back to Austin and practice his spraying technique
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Interesting that whoever decided to take Stroll for testing in an old Williams at Austin .. it seemed to have kerbed some of the challenges he 's been having...Mclaren might want to take note with Vandoorne

If this is the coming of Stroll who incidentally is now the 2nd youngest driver to be on the podium behind a certain Mad Max then I think this is now the beginning of the end for Massa
 
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