Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

‘I was very fortunate to have someone like my team mate to understand where I can be better’

2019 F1 season review

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Lance Stroll’s presence in the Racing Point line-up is no mystery to anyone, as his father bought the team in 2018.

His 2019 performance was lacklustre, being almost invariably out-qualified by his team mate, and conclusively out-scored as well. In his defence he can point to his fourth place in Germany, which was the team’s best result of the season, though it that atypical result accounted for much of his end-of-season points tally.

While his results paled alongside those of Sergio Perez, Stroll said he benefitted from being able to compare himself with his team mate.

“It always helps. I think at the end of the day, you have to be your own artist on the race track, drive the car as you want to drive it and set up the car accordingly.

“But of course it’s always good to have a benchmark and someone with experience like him has been great to have alongside me. Someone I can view and understand how it can be better. I was very fortunate to have that this year, to have someone like him that I can look alongside and and understand where I can be better, what I can do better.”

Qualifying: Lap time

The lower the lines, the better the driver performed

Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2019
Stroll often found himself starting near the back
An obvious area where Stroll must do better is qualifying. Perez was consistently the quicker of the two over a single lap, barring a couple of ‘outliers’ late in the season.

“In general with team mates you pick up on little details, different driving styles,” said Stroll. “There’s a difference in how we set up the car and then it’s taking away the pros and cons from every weekend: What I do, what my strengths are, what his strengths are, how I can build on my strengths and how I can improve my weaknesses.”

Stroll reckons there isn’t “one general thing” which explains the difference in their results, “I think it’s just more the trend throughout the year with team mates.

“Different team mates have different strengths and weaknesses. It’s just been about learning what his strengths are and how I can apply that to what I do and how I drive the car and how I set up the car.”

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Race: Start versus finish

Starting generally at the lower end of the midfield, Stroll gave himself a lot to do on race day. Like Daniil Kvyat, when he did reach the top 10 it was usually in the lower two positions, with the exception of Germany.

“As long as you’re in the mix, 12th and above I think is important,” said the driver who only started higher than 12th once all year.

“We’ve gone a bit better in qualifying over the second half of the year. Unfortunately had some bad luck in the races so we couldn’t score as many points.

“The first half of the year was a challenge in qualifying, but then on Sundays we always managed to score points.”

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Race: Share of points

Stroll’s haul of 21 points came from six top-10 finishes. They included a 12-point windfall in Germany which came about thanks to an audacious switch to slick tyres which saw him briefly lead the field at one stage (though he did not officially lead a lap at the start/finish line).

Race: How many times Stroll beat each other driver

Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, Racing Point, 2019
Experienced team mate Perez is a useful benchmark
Stroll expects much better things from this year. “Just coming back for a second season in the same environment with more experience, it’s a big, big benefit that’s for sure.

“I can only tell you next year, but I do believe that if I could do every weekend over again this year, I could do it a lot better, just unlocking the full potential of the car in many ways. It’s tricky in Formula 1. I think experience will definitely help.”

Stroll is certain he made significant gains in his second year at Williams in 2018 which were masked by the deficiencies of that car. Having adjusted to a new team and team mate last year, he will enjoy consistency in both respects this year – the first time in his career he has done so. Appreciable improvements are therefore to be expected.

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2019 F1 season

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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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27 comments on “‘I was very fortunate to have someone like my team mate to understand where I can be better’”

  1. The Start-Finish chart seems to suggest that generally Lance finishes in a race in a better place than he started in, which is good. Last year was a difficult year for Racing Point because their car was compromised in terms of suitability for the F1 series because of earlier financial constraints.
    This year is going to be an important year for Racing Point because this will be their first real Racing Point Car. I really hope that both Lance and Sergio are able to extract the maximum performance from this new car.
    For Lance, I think it is important that he puts in a lot of homework before each race because finishing in a better place than what you started at isn’t good enough in F1, especially for Lance. Getting points and places is the best way to answer critics. Sergio finished in the points 11 times compared to Lance’s 6. So he needs to be finishing in the points much more consistently than he has been.

    1. Your analysis of drivers are certainly better then your caption comments 😉

  2. Cristiano Ferreira
    29th January 2020, 8:24

    There is no excuses left for lance this year anymore. He must show to his father, to his team and to himself that he has the skills tô bem worthy of his seat.

    He is not a rookie anymore and this will be his first season in a car that i think will be made to suit his style a little more than the previous ones that he drove before.

    Lets see what he can do.

    1. Cristiano Ferreira
      29th January 2020, 8:25

      *To be worthy of his seat

  3. Stroll Sr. should provide dedicated control tower with personel and algorithm to give on the fly input to Junior.

  4. He also retired in Brazil due to a suspension-failure. Yes, he got classified as did the Ferrari-drivers due to having reached the 90% mark of the full race-distance before stopping on trackside, but still, DNF is a DNF as long as a driver doesn’t reach the chequered flag, so technically three for him last season.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      29th January 2020, 9:31

      Brazil was probably the best race of the season for him too. The only time he convincingly looked to be outperforming Perez without Perez making a mistake or having bad luck himself.

  5. Stroll is certain he made significant gains in his second year at Williams in 2018 which were masked by the deficiencies of that car.

    LMAO. Wasn’t he slower than Sirotkin in 2018? I’m sure next season Lance will look back at 2019 and self praise his tremendous progress that was masked due to – {insert random reason here}

    1. @todfod You mean like a certain someone who continuously drove the ‘best race of his carreer’ for easily four years straight only for it to be masked by the car? :-)

      1. @mrboerns

        Who said they were masked ;)

  6. John Richards (@legardforpresident)
    29th January 2020, 9:12

    I think what Lance needs to realise that he can try all he wants to intentionally talk himself down against his teammate, in order to take the heat out of being called “spoilt little rich kid”. But the numbers just don’t add up in his favour. The issue is that, when all things are good, when all variables line up in his favour, he delivers (Germany 2019, Azerbaijan 2017)…and that for him, is just enough to keep the haters at bay.

    1. Haters gonna hate, results/facts do not affect their opinions much.

      Only uninformed critics of Babby’s laughably poor performance are swayed by random acts of interference by The Gods of Speed.

      People seem to forget that Perez visited McLaren for a year and he was promptly booted after being found to be, at best, a mediocre driver (a la Rosberg). Perez is a good racing driver and a good measuring point as a solid performer, but if Babby wants to be seen as someone who actually has talent, he will need to convincingly put Perez in his place.

      Papa will keep paying for his Babby’s toys, however, at

      1. Rosberg mediocre? Really? WDC in 2016 and thumped Ham that year. That makes Ham a poor driver by your logic.

  7. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    29th January 2020, 9:49

    Interestingly, I don’t think Stroll was responsible for his own retirement at all this year. Compare that to other drivers who have had an incident that has either resulted in retirement or significantly messed up their race. I would say at lest half the grid has done this, even including top drivers. About the only time I can heavily blame Stroll for something was him hitting Grosjean in Bahrain, which resulted in Grosjean retiring. Otherwise, he’s been pretty consistent in this area. I certainly think more of the blame should go towards Norris in Spain than Stroll. That move was a bit too risky.

    With the advantage of the money on his side, i think another chance is worth it, but I hope he can improve his performances.

  8. He’s consistently unimpressive. Usually he moves forward from his nearly always poor qualifying position but that can be put down to those ahead failing to finish or just keeping out of trouble on a decent strategy, as the car he was in for this year certainly was better than where he qualified it. I really doubt he’d be on the grid at all if it wasn’t for his father’s money but at least there he has more direct support than he’d get in any other team. So it’s on him to improve. Being consistently slower than a retiring Massa, then barely able to beat a rookie and hugely off Perez’s pace isn’t a good look.

    1. I agree. In pure pace yes. There are many other drivers capable to drive better and more consistant. Stroll doesn’t make huge mistakes but in speedwise he is lacking mostly in qualifying. Which in modern F1 is a crucial element. He’s a good a driver which he can prove by saying he has a podium. But without financial backing i highly doubt he would be on the grid.

  9. Marko will have binned him before this season. Stroll has had the benefit of Perez and Massa to show him the ropes during his F1 career. Not only that, but when he was with Williams, Stroll Snr paid for track hire several times to allow him extra lessons with Massa and using an old Williams V6.

    Although we don’t see much of Stroll during the races, I can’t say I remember him putting up much of a fight to keep his place when he comes under pressure. As James Hunt would say “He’s a mobile chicane”.

    1. I think his long run pace is ok. And his racecraft is also decent IMO. It is his single lap pace that has a big problem. The 2 times he started ahead of Perez (italy and Brazil) I’m not sure how likely it would have been that Perez would have got by if it wasn’t for Stroll having bad luck. If he improves in qualifying, I think that his current pace during the race is enough to consider him a decent driver. As I mentioned in one of my posts, it not like he’s involved in many crashes, at least now many that are his fault. I think his racing against other drivers showed signs of improvement last year

  10. I loved the 70s TV series, The Incredible Hulk. Lou Ferrigno was brilliant as the angry monster.

    1. Not one liked my bad joke. :O(

  11. Not F1 material.
    Was completely outclassed by Massa and Perez in a way comparable drivers rarely are.

    Sirotkin was his rookie and was faster than him. And probably would’ve become a better driver than him by this point.

    His career is entirely dependable on the moods of his father.
    He will be sacked the second after his father loses interest.

  12. stroll may get better, at applying himself on driving without distraction from everything else an f1 driver must do, but he will never get smarter. and, therefore never be great. that’s why myself, and several others do not rate him as F1 material.

  13. Lance Stroll is fortunate? Huh…never would’ve thought.

  14. Well you are very fortunate Lance as it seems anyone brings you “fortune”

  15. No matter who his teammate was, the answer would have been ‘everywhere, except the piggy bank department’.

  16. Good drivers usually do well, even in questionable cars. In good cars, they always do well baring special circumstances.
    Terrible drivers never do consistently well and certainly never win. Moldanado may be an exception.
    Somewhere in between are the ones that occasionally surprise, usually disappoint but keep stacking up points. Not necessarily a lot, but they are there. They will pull a podium out of the hat just to infuriate the haters. Like it or not, this is where Lance is fitting in.
    Bash Lance S. if you like, but while his lousy qualifying record gives him the opportunity to make up more places than most, he is pretty good at that and has a decent record of NOT smashing into others. Not what can be said about a few others.
    Lawrence Stroll is a business guy. He will not be spending money on a whim, not without a plan and a path to making even more. Full credit to him. Will he keep Lance in whatever team he is running, likely not past the point where it is reducing the value and profit picture of the operation.
    My bet, Lance gets another year, two at the most, and then off to WEC or somewhere.

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