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.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
Stroll is currently in Japan and preparing for the Asian races.
I don’t like it. On the one hand, he is putting effort in to improve and be competitive, on the other hand, he shouldn’t have to do it and it simply proves that he is / was not ready for F1. A year in F2 would’ve been good, this is his fourth or fifth test which has been reported on this season.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
Come on, I know you like to defend him, but it is blatantly clear that he wasn't ready for F1 and is now playing catch-up. Furthermore, you know as well as I do that other drivers don't go testing throughout the season, this isn't common procedure in this era.
He simply has a disadvantage due to not being able to develop his race craft in F2 which is why he is having to do these sessions.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Actually I was asking the question for a real answer rather than defending him. Lance Isn't the only one who can afford this so I wondered if anyone else had ever undertaken a programme like it.

As for having a year in F2 first - you are probably right but drivers take the opportunity when it comes. The last driver I know who decided to get more experience in a junior formula rather than F1 was Vandorne and it did him no favours whatsoever.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
As for having a year in F2 first - you are probably right but drivers take the opportunity when it comes. The last driver I know who decided to get more experience in a junior formula rather than F1 was Vandorne and it did him no favours whatsoever.

Actually, if you compare Vandoorne with Alonso then you'll see that the gap is smaller than the gap between Stroll and Massa, also Massa was beaten by more than 0.5 secs. on average by Alonso whilst they were teammates. If one is to take the qualifying gap as a reference, then one could say that other categories did help Vandoorne to improve his race craft and gain experience. Vandoorne also did a lot less pre-season testing than Stroll, so he is really doing a decent job against Alonso.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I wasn't comparing Vandorne and Stroll.

Vandorne turned down a Torro Rosso seat for 2014. They wanted him over Kvyat. Kvyat subsequently got promoted to the main Red Bull team in 2015. There is no doubt in my mind that Vandorne would have done at least a good a job as Kvyat in 2014 and thus been drafted in to replace Vettel at Red Bull. I'm pretty sure he'd have done a good job there and we'd prob have Vandorne vs Verstappen going off at the min. Instead he had to wait until 2017 and is kicking his heels at the back as an Alonso after thought. It Isn't a good advert for 'taking time to develop in the junior formula'.

So what I meant was I can see why drivers jump at an F1 seat even if they aren't ready. No one wants to miss their chance.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
Stroll bought his way into Williams. He could have bought his way into Williams a year later. He is the reason why Massa 'retired', because Williams planned on teaming Stroll up with Bottas. Massa is only there now, because Bottas moved to Mercedes. Stroll, unlike Vandoorne therefore, is in the position to buy his way into a team. Stroll could have afforded to do a year in F2 to gain experience and to develop.

In contrast to Vandoorne who knowingly signed up for a team which had taken Alonso under contract for 2015 and had also extended Buttons contract. He knew he'd be in this situation and for some reason, he chose McLaren and Alonso over Toro Rosso. In light of the aftermath concerning Alguersuari - Dr. Marko had assured him, he'd be racing for Red Bull, Vandoorne may not have considered a move to Toro Rosso as a viable move. Furthermore, Sainz career was heading nowhere until now, as it seems there is a deal between Renault, Toro Rosso and McLaren. Additionally, Vergne and Buemi never got a chance to race in F1 again, because they also never had backing by any other sponsors, because they signed up for Red Bull und thus, were not permitted to have any other major sponsors which hindered their career, as they would have to bring money with them to another team.
It isn't a good advert to sign up for Toro Rosso and take ones chances.
 
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teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Stroll, unlike Vandoorne therefore, is in the position to buy his way into a team. Stroll could have afforded to do a year in F2 to gain experience and develop.

That's possibly true, but there are still only 20 seats. He could have still found himself pushed out when a young kid turns up with a tonne of talent and a tonne of cash in GP3 or F2. Even with every advantage, it could still go wrong.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I disagree completely. I think Vandorne's career would be in much better shape if he'd signed that contract. But that neither here nor there.

Stroll didn't take another year in junior formula and now he's here and has sunk. Get some testing done and move on.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
teabagyokel He has brought 80 Mio.$ to Williams who on this planet, or more concretely in F2, can pile up that much money? He bought he way straight into a midfield team, not some backmarker like other pay drivers do.

RasputinLives Vandoornes career is in great shape, he's in F1 and Alonsos teammate who is considered to be one of the best in F1. What more could anyone ask for than challenge one of the greatest of this sport? It's better than racing against another rookie / no name.
He's also fairing quite well which bolsters his reputation.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
He's tootling around at the back as a 2ND class citizen. Would much rather see him in a Red Bull.

Why you beating up on Lance anyways? Podium and front row start. Not bad for a rookie in the 6th best team.

Come on... beating up... again... I am that bad? :)

He wouldn't have been signed up for Red Bull and if he were he would've faced the same predicament as Kvyat in light of the rise of Verstappen.
 
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Rutherford

Podium Finisher
What's the fact that you believe that Vandoorne is better than Verstappen or that Vandoorne is better than Verstappen. If the latter is also a fact, then please provide proof, because evidence leads to facts. ;)
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Vandoorne is better than Kvyat. It is slightly irrelevant if he is better than Verstappen. The question that would have decided his fate at Red Bull is his comparison to Ricciardo.
 
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