Lance Stroll, Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Perez is beating Stroll on every count except the one that matters most

2019 team mate battles: Perez vs Stroll

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In a reversal of the situation he experienced last year at the team now known as Racing Point, Sergio Perez is beating his team mate in qualifying but has been out-scored by him in the races.

Perez has never been headed by Lance Stroll in qualifying all year. Only Williams driver George Russell has also beaten his team mate over the 12 qualifying sessions so far. And like Russell, Perez also trails his team mate in the points.

Between them, Perez and Stroll have made it home in the top 10 on seven occasions this year. But it was Stroll who landed the team’s big pay day in Germany, gambling on slick tyres late in the race and coming home fourth, netting 12 of his 18 points to date.

Last year Perez was in the opposite situation with Stroll’s predecessor Esteban Ocon. While Ocon had the measure of Perez in qualifying, a podium finish for Perez in Azerbaijan helped him end the year ahead in the points.

Stroll’s fourth place is an outlier among his results in a season when he has only made it out of Q1 once, which was also at the Hockenheimring. Of course he owes his place at the team at least in part to his father Lawrence’s role in rescuing it from administration 12 months ago.

Nonetheless team principal Otmar Szafnauer says the younger Stroll’s progress has been “really good”.

“He’s gelling well with his engineering team and learning and getting better and better,” said Szafnauer. “The potential’s there. He’s fast. When you make a change there’s always stuff to learn, there’s new things. But he’s a very fast learner, very coach-able.”

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That may be the case, but Stroll’s qualifying deficit to his team mate is not consistently trending in the right direction. He may have posted his two best qualifying performances relative to Perez in the last half-dozen races (in Austria and Canada) but also his two worst (in France and Germany).

Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Hockenheimring, 2019
Stroll bagged Racing Point’s best result to date
It’s easy to be cynical about Stroll’s situation. But his Hockenheim race result is another example of him rising to the occasion and producing an unexpectedly strong result – like his podium finish in Baku two years ago, or his front row starting position in a wet qualifying session at Monza the same year.

In the year that followed it was hard to get a read on what kind of progress Stroll was making. “Last year was a challenging season for me at Williams,” he said. “We didn’t really have the pace to score points like we did in 2017.”

As Racing Point make progress with the RP19, a car which suffered a difficult gestation due to the team’s financial problems, Stroll believes the opportunity to compete will improve. “When I look at this year in comparison to a couple of years ago, it’s definitely become much more competitive, the sport, which is a good thing,” he said.

However given Ocon’s edge over Perez on one-lap pace last year, and the eased with which Perez is now beating his team mate on Saturdays, there must be some concern at Racing Point that the full potential of their current car may be going untapped in qualifying. That said, at least their current driver line-up aren’t colliding as regularly as the other two did.

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Sergio Perez vs Lance Stroll: Key stats

Sergio Perez vs Lance Stroll: Who finished ahead at each round

Sergio PerezQ
Lance StrollQ

Sergio Perez vs Lance Stroll: Qualifying gap

Times based on the last qualifying round at each race weekend in which both drivers set a time

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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51 comments on “Perez is beating Stroll on every count except the one that matters most”

  1. With Stroll showing there is potential for improvement, doesn’t that do only more to hint that young Lance might have been better off taking a slower trajectory to F1, entering when he is ready?

    I do think he has potential. But he needs a challenging teammate to show him where. Perez is solid but not shining on speed either. Maybe it helps Stroll developing, but there could be so much more to be had with drivers exctracting the maximum out of the car.

    1. Stroll got real lucky in Germany, like he did once before in Baku. He’s the least talented driver in F1. If his father had a brain he’d rehire Ocon (Bottas will stay at Mercedes) and start accumulating much needed WCC points.

    2. I don’t see how being trashed by his teammate even harder would help Stroll. If anything he needs a teammate like Sirotkin to hide his deficit.

  2. Cristiano Ferreira
    14th August 2019, 8:36

    Well, Lance was lucky with his gamble in Germany and that doesn’t mean that he is doing a better job, because, after all, its all down to… luck

    The points that he (Lance) has now, thanks to Germany smells like fake points, its the same situation with Kubica with his only point. Its a fake point, and both situations are “similar”

    Yes, both had merits in a race full of mayhem, but in normal circunstances, neither of them would amass that amount of points, or pick up a single point.

    Maybe RP has a car that has an “untapped” qualifying performance, but this “lost potential” is their fault too, because right now the team can only rely on Perez to get the job done, while the other seat remains wasted with the owner’s son.

    1. Well, Lance was lucky with his gamble in Germany and that doesn’t mean that he is doing a better job, because, after all, its all down to… luck

      It’s quite ignorant to make these statements unless you believe everything in life is due to luck. Would you say as well that ‘Well, Lewis was lucky with his team’s gamble in Hungary and that doesn’t mean that he is doing a better job, because, after all, its all down to… luck’?

      I applaud Stroll for making the call to be the first on slicks at that moment – in a race where the best made mistakes on slicks – and keep the car on track.

      1. Stroll did a good job not to crash the car in the race as it was very easy to make a race-ending mistake. But his 4th place is only due to the strategy call from the pit wall and not from Stroll. He tried to survive during the race, and was behind Russel for most of it actually. Of course he deserves credit for not crashing, but that P4 was thanks to the strategy team.

        1. Cristiano Ferreira
          14th August 2019, 10:35


          When i’m saying that his result “was down to luck” it was because of the nature OF THAT RACE (Germany, i mean) that was so chaotic that anything was possible. Or do you think that Kubica deserved that point? Yes, he survived, he deserved that. But he was awarded that point because that race turned into a “battle royale”

          Please, dont be ignorant and try to extend what i’m saying to the likes of Hamilton, or anyone else that is in F1 on pure merit and skill.

          I’m pretty sure you understood what i meant before.

          1. To be able to follow your arguments we would need a complete list of drivers, who you believe to be in Formula 1 “on pure merit and skill”. Otherwise we won’t know to whom we should extend your arguments.

            Reading between the lines I would make the assumption, that Stroll does not make the list. Stroll is a driver, who won most junior series he drove in and who has scored more points than his team-mates over the three years he has been in Formula 1. There are not many drivers currently in Formula 1 with such a curriculum, thus making your list very small.

        2. Stroll actually spun off into the gravel and was lucky not to get stuck.

        3. Peter Waters (@)
          16th August 2019, 11:07

          The strategy team was not driving the car!

          Stroll spinning into the gravel was and not getting stuck was a little lucky.

      2. It’s quite ignorant to make these statements unless you believe everything in life is due to luck.

        @coldfly You are stretching his point way too far. In fact your argument is more ignorant than his because you are not even addressing his arguments but instead you make some weird philosophical whataboutisms. Germany was clearly a lucky result for stroll. Of course the driver needs to be able to take advantage of the situation (see hulk or bottas who failed) but at the same time stroll did not put himself into that advantageous position. It was his back of the field positioning where he had ended because his poor race pace that put him into position to try something risky (because he was so slow that had nothing to lose) that paid off this time. For the majority of the race stroll was the third slowest car on the track.

        1. The fact is that the F1 point system is not a good metric for determining who is a better driver for teams down the order. Stroll’s outlier result only confirms this.

          I know there is a lot of hate for Stroll and I have thrown my fair share at him. I guess I have softened a little, but I do think it would have been interesting to see who was worse if he stayed at Williams with Kubica.

          1. Cristiano Ferreira
            14th August 2019, 13:31


            I’m pretty sure Stroll isn’t showing any signs of merit to be in F1. That is, aside from the fact that he has “landed” on Williams because of his money, and he is now at Racing Point because…you guessed right, his money again.

            Or are you telling me that Williams called him to F1 and now Racing Point because he was setting the world on fire?

            I don’t care about his achivements in past formula or kart. That doesn’t prove anything. Look at Palmer. He was GP2 Champion, so what? Dumped

            By your logic i presume that Palmer >>> Verstappen. Am i right?

            Also, in case you are forgetting something, Stroll only fininshed ahead of Felipe Massa in 2016 because… GUESS WHAT AGAIN? LUCK!

            Another chaotic race at Baku, where he kept out of trouble and was given a third place.

            Look, i dont hate Stroll and i really dont care about him, but please, don’t tell me that his best results so far doesn’t have anything to do with luck. Don’t tell me that he ahead of Perez because of his skill.

      3. It’s luck when you are comparing teammates in a team that can only score a small amount of points per race and when one of those teammates gets 5 races worth of points in one race. Like Schumacher’s kid soon will be and Senna’s nephew was, Stroll is in F1 for a reason other than talent.

      4. @coldfly: Lewis was lucky indeed. The difference is that when Lewis gets lucky he gets the same result he gets in most other races anyway, and when Stroll gets lucky he gets a result he couldn’t dream of otherwise.

        You do well in highlighting Stroll’s ability to keep the car on the track, though, since it is the only thing there is to highlight. Not enough to merit an F1 seat, though.

    2. ..forgot to mention kvyat and sainz jr, strategy scored them big this season.

    3. I agree with Cristiano here. In Germany, Stroll was effectively dead last when he switched to slicks–either 1 or 2 Williams behind him. He had absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by gambling on dry tires. The fact that it worked, due at least as much to the weather as his own ability, was lucky, or fortunate. Regardless, there was no risk so who cares? Maybe luck is the wrong word but it doesn’t really speak to Stroll’s skill as much as a one-off good tire choice.

      The issue is that this one-off is the bulk of Stroll’s points and a significant portion of RP’s. But it was still an outlier. If RP did not have to worry about money and was basing their driver decisions solely on ability/performance, they should keep Perez over Stroll, imo. But I also think they should have kept Ocon over Perez. But there are considerations aside from driver skill. And I assume they will keep both drivers, but we’ll see.

      @coldfly – Hamilton in Hungary was a somewhat similar decision. Merc had 2nd place wrapped up and a free pit stop, so they took the low risk option and it paid off. I think it is slightly less luck involved because they knew how old Verstappen’s tires would be at the end of the race, and knew the cliff was possible. The big difference here is that this isn’t a one-off result for Hamilton. Had they asked Stroll to hunt down Verstappen, that would have required luck.

      And to your point, there is an element of randomness or luck in everything.

      1. Both ‘strategy calls’ which worked out well, @hobo.
        Too simple to just call it ‘luck’; especially when it comes from a keyboard warrior who likes to bash drivers and won’t see the skills that each one has.
        I’m not a Stroll fan, but he sure does has some skills as a racing driver and IMO there are 2-3 drivers who performed worse this year.

        1. @coldfly – We’ll just have to agree to disagree on Stroll’s talent. But when he outperforms his car once in 2017, once in 2018, and once in 2019, and each time only 13 cars finished the race, that to me is more luck than skill. Skill would show up more often than that. Same with qualifying.

          Qualifying results
          Q1 Q2 Q3
          4 5 3 Perez
          11 1 0 Stroll

  3. Ironically, the opposite to how it normally goes for Perez – usually he’s slightly behind on most things, but ahead on points.

    1. @hugh11 exactly and perez crashed his best opportunities, when generally things fall into place for him, all credit to him though.

      1. When I think of the most reliable peddler currently in Formula 1 I always think of Sergio. The guy is as consistent as it gets, and not just average. Typically punching above his weight and always there when opportunities present themselves. I don’t think he’s got the pace of a front runner, but he’s an excellent driver. A bit like Raikonnen (in his older age).

    2. Perez the most underrated driver

  4. Racing Point need to have a close look at whether it’s worth sacrificing points (and therefore position) to keep Lance in the car.

    This was a team that was fighting for 4th in the WCC consistently on a limited budget because it made an art form out of maximising points paying opportunities.

    They can only blame their drop down the order on the lack of funding last year for so long before they need to examine the returns by their drivers.

    1. Racing point only exists so lance can have a seat in f1. There is nothing more certain than that lance will drive for racing point as long as he wants. In fact I’m worried what happens to the team once lance decides he wants a different hobby.

      1. @socksolid

        once lance decides he wants a different hobby.

        This 100%
        That is all it is to Lance, a hobby.
        He can pretend to his admirers and the families boot licker’s that he is a F1 racer rather than just a mediocre racing driver who has a seat almost solely because he is rich.

        In truth I can live with it.
        It gives 95% of F1 fans something to laugh at whilst his Daddy puts money into the sport and keeps a team alive.
        Fair trade. ;)

    2. Racing Point better have a contingency to replace Papa-Stroll’s money if they ever hope to have two competent drivers in their cars.
      Perez is no champion, but he is a solid performer capable of bringing home results. Perez brings in sponsors of his own, sure,but nobody would claim Perez is not a capable racer.

      Babby-Stroll is there only because his Papa bought him his own racing team. Shame on Formula 1 for allowing this blatant example of nepotism to go on for so long, it has done irreparable damage to the sport’s image.

      1. Shame on Formula 1 for allowing this blatant example of nepotism to go on for so long, it has done irreparable damage to the sport’s image.


        1. What is the alternative? Fire Lance and watch daddy leave.

          Daddy Stroll and partners are investing in the team. Hopefully with the budget caps the team will have real value in the future. When Lance and daddy leave, the team could be sold and continue instead of closing shop like so many other teams before.

          1. I firmly believe that the group of investors lead by Papa Stroll are there because RP is a good business oportunity, more so in light of the expected payment structure changes looming.

    3. @dbradock But as you know in F1 if you start off on your hind foot it is pretty hard to catch up as the competition doesn’t stand still. So I would say their main mission needs to be to just keeping learning and plugging away at it and do their best but look forward to next season when they will be on he same page as everyone else.

      @socksolid @nullapax Pretty sure this is far more than a hobby for Lance.

      @Cranberry @jeffreyj Irreparable damage? Gimme a break. Losing a team and having only 18 cars on the grid would have done far more ‘damage’ to F1. Liberty should thank Stroll and group profusely for what they did and I’m sure they have.

  5. @keithcollantine So yesterday I called you out for calling out Giovinazzi and Gasly and Stroll. I apologize. I didn’t know you had this article coming.

  6. Stroll is an embarrassment of F1.

    He epitomizes the worst sides of F1 – talentless kid which is let to play with shiny expensive cars by a father with more money than common sense.

    Hopefully, when senior Stroll decides to make F1 Team out of private kindergarten, then Junior will have to leave.

    1. How can Lance be talentless when he’s got one podium to his credit, and has a 4th as his best result this season?

    2. I think having a financially sound team on the grid is worth having Lance around.

  7. With the 2021 changes coming, i image the team will hang on till then to see if they have sufficient performance, if not, i image the team would be sold and Stroll would be out.

    1. I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Lawrence Stroll is an avid car collector and an F1 fan through and through for years. He’s living his dream too. I bet he’s in this for the long haul.

  8. Stroll has more F1 podiums than Hulkenberg had in his first three years and that’s funny. Will Stroll get another podium in the next 7 seasons? It’s probably more likely than Nico getting his first at this point as Stroll is 20 and Hulkenberg is almost 32. Time is not on Nico’s side.

  9. Last year ocon crushed perez in Q however the avg was ridiculously close. Stroll seems to be the best least talented f1 driver ever, he drives with the most determination, his hands lap the track quicker than perez that is for sure. Stroll tries but the speed apparently doesnt follow commitment, surprisingly for such frenetic hands stroll is not a crasher and for that reason I still think he is not in the bottom 3 drivers of this season.

    1. @peartree Who is your bottom3?

      I have Gasly, Kubica and Stroll. To me Giovinazi hasn’t been as bad as these guys and both Haas drivers are at least partially excused because of a car that’s all over the place.

      Talent-wise I rate all 19 other drivers above Lance as well as guys like Ocon, Sitotkin even and probably 80% of the current F2 grid as well.

    2. People seem to think Perez it’s slow because ocon outqualified him but that gap was there more prominently when Perez had all the sue your own team stuff in his head.. but regularly they where very close and I remember the very next race that the whole thing was over he outqualified ocon

  10. Perhaps an unpopular opinion, but I don’t see the problem really with having a well-funded privateer like Racing Point giving it a go. They’re certainly not embarrassing themselves in performance. I think F1 would be far duller if it was just left to manufacturer teams. Stroll’s not the greatest racer, but he is by no means the worst. If they want to pay to race, let them race. It’s not like they are keeping other teams from joining.

    1. Agreed. Let’s keep in mind too that they are still playing catch-up from last year’s takeover developments that held back their work on this year’s car. I predict they’ll be much more relatively strong next year.

  11. Jose Lopes da Silva
    14th August 2019, 15:22

    I don’t hate Stroll. The thing is, unlike McLaren, Brabham or Fittipaldi, he did not create his own team himself.

    1. I think your comment is very uncharitable. What’s wrong in buying a working team? Is it a sign of some sort of weakness when a working team is sold on? Often the team is better for it. Ferrari were bought by Fiat, and I’ve never heard anyone say Ferrari was worse off for it. They’ve won World Constructors’ Championships many times since Fiat bought them. Also Brawn did it and the team won a WCC, Mercedes bought Brawn GP and have won more WCC, Red Bull did it (twice) and have won mulitple WCCs, Fiat-Chrysler did it again last year, Renault has done it and won WCCs.
      Oh … and Bruce McLaren was killed on at Goodwin Motor Circuit 49 years ago, so the WCC winning McLaren team we have now were sold on as a working team.
      You forget that Force India was insolvent, they had no money, they had a ton of debts, including debts with companies that supply other teams. Unpaid costs would have to be passed onto other teams. An insolvent team isn’t allowed to race, so FI was in breach of their contract with F1. Their staff weren’t being paid, and even if they could afford legal action would have received just a few pence for every pound owed to them. Lawrence and friends turned up, bought all the assets, paid all the debts, paid the staff all their unpaid wages, bought new equipment, gave the team a huge moral boost … and you think they don’t deserve to be in F1? Sorry, but they are a valuable asset to F1.

  12. Lance is improving, and improving fast (last year’s Lance would probably have been consistently in the place between Williams and the rest of the field), but his points score isn’t representative of the extent of that improvement. Yes, a slower rise up the ranks would have helped him (as it would have helped Max, let alone Daniil Kyvat and before him, Jaime Alguersuari), but he can’t change that now.

    Checo is in an odd position. He’s trying to provide leadership to a team that is moving between needing it and being a bit less dependent on it, compounded by a machine which is showing its turbulent background quite clearly. I think the upgrade is going to give Checo a good chance to turn the points tables in the second half of the season, but up to this point I think Checo’s been struggling with the car’s limits being so much lower than he was accustomed heretofore.

    1. @alianora-la-canta I agree with you. I still think Lance hasn’t had much car to show anything so far in his 2 1/2 seasons in F1, but I expect him to only continue to gain momentum in the second half of this season, but I expect that they should be much better relative to the rest of the grid next year when they won’t have had anything delaying the start of next year’s car, which likely has already begun in these recent months I would think. Of course the same goes for Pérez as you point out. They should only keep improving as they catch up to the time lost last year that had them basically bringing and driving their ‘new car’ only as this season began in earnest in Australia.

  13. I’ve got a feeling Checo won’t have that RP drive next year.

    Papa has enough money to keep the budget and needs better relations with Mercedes to have faster car.

    This means they will bring back Ocon from his holidays to race alongside his best mate, or they will welcome Valtteri on the “soft landing”, if Toto decides Ocon is ready for that Merc drive.

  14. So is Kubica with Russel.

    1. Stroll finished P4 in Germany. Therefore he deserved the 12 points. Whatever the circumstances, he was the 4th placing car after e300kms.

      Argument over

  15. LOL Perez ahead once more, did you really think Stroll will win this?

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