Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Hungaroring, 2020

We could have beaten a Mercedes with different strategy – Stroll

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In the round-up: Lance Stroll says he could have beaten Valtteri Bottas to the final podium place in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

What they say

Stroll qualified third but finished the race fourth behind Bottas:

There’s a lot to review. Maybe we could have made a couple of different strategy calls, pitted a lap earlier at the beginning of the race to switch from the inters to the dry tyres. But it was such a gamble. So I’ve got to review the race, there’s a lot that happened, so I’m not really sure.

But we missed a couple of opportunities. I think the podium was possible today. I think more with Bottas at the end because he managed to pit, we were expecting rain again so we are trying to stay out longer and he pitted and undercut us. So that was a bit unfortunate.

I think we definitely had the pace to hold him off for the podium. But these things happen. It’s racing, we’re got to be happy with fourth.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Many of you felt the Haas drivers were unfairly penalised yesterday:

Terrible judgement shown by F1 powers in my opinion. How is calling a driver into the pits unduly aiding them?

You can see from the transcript that the decision was made jointly by the team as WELL as the driver. This is ludicrous.

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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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46 comments on “We could have beaten a Mercedes with different strategy – Stroll”

  1. We could have beaten a Mercedes with different strategy – Stroll

    Yes at Silverstone he could invite out the entire Merc F1 team on the Saturday night and get them rolling drunk. Have both drivers arrested for drunken behavior and bribe the magistrate not to grant bale until after the race starts.

    1. @johnrkh
      come on you cant be that serious? stroll cant be that clever :) /s

    2. RP’s decision to pit Stroll 2 laps after Bottas was shambolic. Considering how hard it is to overtake, Stroll was racing Bottas. I totally understand why Stroll is feeling the way he is.

      1. I agree, what he says shows that he is a serious racer, wanting to beat others on track if possible.

  2. Yes Lance if dad had bought you this years Mercedes instead of last years. Then maybe.

    1. Even then he couldn’t

  3. DAllein (@)
    20th July 2020, 1:27

    Cyril Abiteboul: “It’s the third race in a row where we have finished in eighth place. Given the competitiveness of the field, it is where our car probably is right now.”

    Captain Obvious!

    George Russell: “Our race pace was really poor…”

    Too true unfortunately. Dead last.
    Can’t see how without Monaco they can earn even a point…

    Mattia Binotto: “…To be lapped is very painful for us and our fans.”

    The moment Lewis overtook Seb I thought how painful it must be for Seb. Feel sorry for him, his and Ferrari fans.

  4. The guy couldn’t beat even a Red Bull and talks about beating a Mercedes.
    What a joker.

    1. He beat Albon’s RBR though.

      But yeah, in no way was Stroll beating a Mercedes today.

    2. What are you talking about? He did beat a Red Bull.

  5. I feel like Racing Point should be doing a tad better with what they have

  6. RP (@slotopen)
    20th July 2020, 3:20

    Kid needs a dose of reality. He beat a Red Bull and ruined Bottas’ race. He could not have done any better without somebody ahead messing up.

    Praise your team like they just won. Buy them a round.

    1. @slotopen ‘Ruined’ Bottas’s race is a slightly funny way of putting it! He kept Bottas behind until Mercedes went for the undercut. As Stroll says, if they had anticipated that with some good pit stop timing, maybe he could have done the opposite and kept ahead. Bottas didn’t seem to have much luck getting past him. I thought Stroll was pretty good, confirming a general trend, and don’t understand the level of antipathy still shown toward him in general. He beat Perez in qualifying this weekend, however ‘dizzy’ the latter was feeling, and also in the race. He also seems a likeable guy.

      1. If there were only two cars in a race, Stroll and Bottas, and Stroll won it.
        The Head-Lines would be … “Bottas second, Stroll next to last”.
        It’s a love – hate relationship. There are those out there that love to hate him.
        The kid qualified well, drove a tidy race, kept it on the track, finished ahead of his team-mate and finished 4th. Not bad.
        Oh, almost forgot …. he ruined Bottas’s race.

        1. Oh, almost forgot …. he ruined Bottas’s race.

          :P what I mean is, it’s like saying Hamilton ruined Verstappen’s race, as though that was his primary achievement (or misdemeanour)!

      2. @david-br

        I’ve always been critical of Stroll… and firmly believe he’s been one of the most rubbish, if not the most rubbish driver on the grid since he’s entered the sport. This season however, he’s genuinely surprised everyone by making a step up. He finally got his act together during qualifying, and stays out of trouble on Sundays as well. I wouldn’t call his performances spectacular this season, but they’re definitely at the level you would expect from a midfield driver. So, to give credit where it’s due, Lance isn’t all that rubbish anymore. He’s been closer to Perez for the first 3 races of the season, which is something he didn’t manage at all last season.

        He also seems a likeable guy.

        This is up for debate.

        1. Really? Maybe I’ve seen the wrong interviews.

          1. @david-br

            Most of the time he has a resting sulk face, or some sort of disgusted look, which makes is hard to focus on the interviews. Other than that, I find it hard to like a driver who’s retention in F1 has been based on his dad bank rolling his career to the extent of purchasing a team and giving his son a drive.

        2. @todfod I disagree that he is one of the most rubbish F1 driver. Below average yes, but not rubbish and he is one of the best in wet condition in the current lineup (far from Hamilton and Verstappen which are 2 level ahead of the field, but slightly below Vettel IMO). Also during his tenure, I can pick drivers that worse than him: Jolyon Palmer, Brendon Hartley (just not suited for F1), Giovinazzi, Marcus Ericsson, Sergei Sirotkin, Robert Kubica (comeback version), and most likely Nicolas Latifi. Going past decade, there are a lot more of rubbish driver in F1 that can make Stroll looks like Hamilton.

          People just hating him because his dad strongly involved and having big sponsor behind him. But these things are pretty common anyway. Go look past it and you’ll find a decent midfield driver that can deliver surprising result in challenging condition.

          1. @sonicslv

            So, I agree that there’s been a driver worse than Stroll every season. We had Palmer in 2017, Hartley in 2018 and Kubica in 2019. I wouldn’t rate Stroll higher than Sirotkin, who was in his rookie season and still looked quicker than Stroll in his sophomore season. I wouldn’t rate Ericcson or Giovinazzi higher than Stroll either.

            All these drivers lost their drives because they weren’t good enough … but Stroll, who was in the same category as them stayed in the sport and in fact upgraded to a better team (which dad bought for him). So, it’s hard for you to blame someone who has something against Stroll, because it seems pretty justified in my opinion.

            Go look past it and you’ll find a decent midfield driver that can deliver surprising result in challenging condition.

            Let’s see about that. He’s started 2020 better than any season before… so lets see if the trend continues, but based on his 2017-2019 performance, I wouldn’t put him in the ‘decent midfielder’ category by a long shot.

          2. @todfod I will go back to what my stance on Lance was from the getgo. And we sure have had our debates about it. ‘Based on his 2017-2019 performance,” you wouldn’t put him in the decent mid-fielder category, but of course the whole obvious thing here that most seem to be ignoring is the car. As I have said all along it is awfully hard to show much when the car is rubbish. That was certainly the case for LS in his first two seasons, and then of course last year the car was better but as indicated by Perez quite low points too, last year’s car was no great shakes either. I really doubt LS only learned to be the driver he has just shown himself to be this year, in the off season.

            I suggest Lance has always been better than his critics have relished pointing out, and that it has been mainly the car all along. But then again that should be no surprise except in this case for the clouding because of the Stroll’s money, for after all we have all known for a long time that the car is anywhere from 80% to 95% of the equation depending on which expert you ask.

            If anything has surprised me it is that last weekend I would have thought LS would have been over the moon with his result, and perhaps he was, behind closed doors, but he also found room to critique himself and the team as to how he/they could have done better. And then the same for this weekend where he speaks of how perhaps they can learn from how they might have stayed ahead of VB (not that I think they would have) with a different strategy. No LS isn’t just sitting on his hands coasting through this like it is just his and his Dad’s hobby. They’re serious.

        3. @todfod

          I was thinking the same, aside from his ridiculous dive bomb on Danny.

      3. I actually liked what Stroll showed us this weekend. He clearly was on the pace, beating Perez fair and square and also showed that he is growing into being a good racer too.

        And isn’t what he says exactly what we should want from a racer – to not be satisfied with the result and look at what could be done more to get even better results? I take it as a sign Stroll is (finally) getting to a level he should have had before getting onto the grid.

      4. F1oSaurus (@)
        20th July 2020, 8:54

        @david-br Bottas could have taken P2 though. Stroll would realistically not get more than P4 anyway

      5. @david-br
        Stroll being on the up trend maybe related to his dad owning the team and getting extra special treatment both in garage and behind doors…

        Lets wait until the end of the season before coming up to conclusion about how good he is…

        There may be different reasons behind his better than usual driving… Perhaps maybe Mercedes touch… Perhaps that touch has a toto wolf hand in it having shares in Aston as well… Perhaps maybe daddy touch…

        We don’t know the factors, let’s see come the end of the season… Hope he gets better, but his previous image and the way he talked in the past is the main bias point for people’s opinion about him… Hope he does the talking by driving consistently until end of the season… Then we can all enjoy his driving instead of talking about his dad and personality…

        1. @mysticus (and @f1osaurus) I just wanted to throw the idea out there that maybe, just maybe, Stroll isn’t undeserving of a place on the grid. If he continues to match or beat Perez, that seems pretty much a given. OK you can suggest that maybe there’s some bias at work within the team, but that seems to be pure conjecture. In terms of racing prowess, which is down to the driver alone, he seems a match for the likes of Bottas, for instance (Verstappen could get past Stroll on track but not VB). So ‘not bad.’ Or as @todfod would put it, not “all that rubbish anymore”!

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            20th July 2020, 14:25

            @david-br That’s for the large part also a consequence of the Mercedes aero working best (only) in clean air while the Red Bull does appear much less affected by dirty air.

            Although Bottas certainly looks less able to deal with this than Hamilton.

            Anyway, agreed Stroll does certainly have his good moments too.

            It goes a bit far to assume already that he might “continue” to match or beat Perez. Just because he finished ahead of Perez for the first time in over a dozen races?

          2. @f1osaurus Well I do assume that he might! But ‘if’ doesn’t mean I assume he will. Let’s see.

  7. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    20th July 2020, 4:13

    Fair play to Lando. Twitch streamer, sim racer, hairdresser (maybe not), mechanic… Is there anything he can’t do?

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      20th July 2020, 4:19

      I notice he’s spannering away with a Richard Mille watch on his wrist, Respect!

  8. Racing Point have to learn quickly it’s a bit different being the hunted instead of the hunter. They’ve graduated from Formula 1.5 to the big league!

  9. We could have beaten a Mercedes with different strategy – Stroll

    By running improbable engine mode? Imagination drive?

    Switching to Michelin after first pitstop?

    That being said Racing Point are somewhat good, really a joy to see midfield team getting ahead, by any trick necessary.

    Speaking of necessary, Vettel needed to be good yesterday and he was. I was totally shocked, racing wheel to wheel, no crash, it almost looked competent. It is as if impending Ferrari exit made him relax a bit and he is good again. Two races in a row now where he has not crashed in to anyone, let’s see what happens next?

    Meanwhile more surprisingly Leclerc was struggling, mostly due to strategy, but also not a track where he excels at.

    This was then the best hope for Ferrari this year, their car is slow on the straights, but quite OK in the corners, maybe even class leading?

    That being said, Mercedes is in a different class. Like Formula 0. They must have been super afraid of fast Ferrari this year. I hazard a feeling even with extra 80-100 cheating hp, Ferrari would be nowhere near what Mercedes is doing this year. The car looks superb in every aspect.

    1. I can see Vettel outperforming Leclerc this year. He has a huge point to prove, now we know he was sacked outright. Nothing to do with incompatible wage demands. The car, bad as it is, seems to suit him more. And Leclerc has the pressure of being the main driver, the main developer of the car, and Sainz arriving next year maybe on a (better) roll from this season. Added to that are a number of weak points still in Leclerc’s driving down the field, liable to the odd big mistake, and also mediocre wet weather performance – which may prove more important in this jumbled season with races taking place at different times of the year from usual.

      1. Exactlly, Vettel is driving in a new way now.

        Car has high downforce and it suits him more. Leclerc was better at taming last years slidy car.

        This year Vettel is better in quali and the race so far.

  10. I agree with the COTD, although good that at least Albon didn’t receive anything.

    1. Stewards might argue that the team called KMag in, but RoGro stated that he wanted to box and the team said OK.

  11. ColdFly (@)
    20th July 2020, 7:59

    Surprised there is still so much negativity around Stroll in the comment section.
    Some ‘fans’ really seem ingrained in their beliefs.

    1. @coldfly

      Totally agree. it’s really unfounded; Stroll has been doing a good job so far this season, being generally on the same pace as (and even beating) his teammate. Checo is certainly a very decent driver, so a good benchmark of performance.

      People seem to have a chip on their shoulder about Laurence Stroll buying the team and putting his son in the car, but when it comes down to it, without that investment we probably would have lost a team which has been, in one form or another, around since 1991 and has been one of the most consistently competitive independent teams on the grid for nearly three decades. Add to that, that we will soon see Aston Martin entering the sport as a constructor for the same reason. To my mind, all of these things are overwhelmingly positive.

      Stroll is never going to find himself getting a drive in one of the top teams. He’s not an incredible talent. But he’s good enough to deserve a super license, and going by his performance this year, good enough to cut it in the midfield. Most importantly he’s shown improvement and a willingness to address his own shortcomings. If he wasn’t Laurence Stroll’s son, I doubt he’d come in for half the criticism that’s levelled at him.

      1. I am with both of you there @mazdachris, @coldfly, I think that Stroll is currently showing that he does agood enough job to merit being on the grid. Off course a good car helps (no driver ever really achieved much without at least a decent one).

        I think he was underwhelming for most of the past seasons, although his outstanding races in a few occasions showed the talent was there, but he probably needed more development. So far this season he seems to have been showing he’s grown into a good enough driver to challenge Perez and the last weekend he was faster all the way, so good job.

        It makes me feel less depressed at the tought of the team dropping Perez instead of Lance to make room for Vettel next year and that team might actually work pretty nicely, with a competent Lance learning and improving and backing up a Vettel who can shine a bit (at least I hope he would!)

  12. I feel like the biggest story has been missed this weekend… What happened to the Hungarian Grand Prix trophy, the best of the season??? Hamilton was given a boring silver thing this time. That trophy is the best in the year, a white ceramic beauty. We need answers!!

    1. ColdFly (@)
      20th July 2020, 10:08

      I actually prefer trophies (aka silverware) to be silver and shaped as some kind of cup (so drivers don’t have to use their shoes to drink the champagne).

      1. That ceramic trophy would make the perfect bone china tea cup though @coldfly, surely!

  13. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    20th July 2020, 12:01

    I’d say the Racing Point has the pace to beat a Mercedes, sure. I don’t think Stroll does though. The car’s uncomfortably good and neither driver’s really getting the most out of it yet.

    Nah, I don’t like Stroll. I don’t like the whiff of nepotism and riches that’s followed his career, he’s regularly been slower than his team mate – no matter whether they’re a rookie or about to retire and while there are a good five to six drivers that certainly deserve a strong car to fight at the front Lance Stroll was never one I’d put on that list. Partner that to a team that has gained success purely by emulating another and the whole thing just feels enormously fake. People call F1 a meritocracy but the entire saga of Racing Point shows that it has nothing to do with being the best as long as you can buy the best.

    1. @rocketpanda OK, I get the nepotism point. Though how different that is compared to having a famous racing driver dad, I don’t know. Is Mick Schumacher really deserving of the fast track to Ferrari (leaving aside the irony of Ferrari not being a fast track anywhere now)? I don’t see him as the best among his peers. His name counts more though. And that said, OK, so Stroll has been boosted. But he doesn’t look out of place fighting with the race leaders upfront. So he at least made use of those opportunities to become a viable F1 driver. I mean, let’s be blunt, he’s doing a better job than Albon at the moment.

      1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
        20th July 2020, 14:42

        Regarding Mick Schumacher – given the guy started out racing under a different name because he didn’t want to get anywhere solely on the back of his name I’m willing to say he’s not doing terribly badly, though drivers with less money and less support are arguably doing better. Deserving of F1, sure – but there are others that are better currently.

        Regarding Stroll doing a better job than Albon – you’re actually comparing a guy in his 4th season to a guy that is only in his 2nd, and first with one team? Comparing a dude that has had his father pay for the best drives and private tests in his early career to one that was dropped and was only drafted in at the last minute because Red Bull had nobody else? Also, comparing a dude that had to beat Massa/Sirotkin & Perez to one that has to beat Verstappen – in a team custom built for him? I’ve not seen Stroll peform even half the overtaking that Albon’s managed in a career that’s less than half of what he’s had so far, let alone the pressure on Stroll will be nothing compared to what Albon’s shouldering. Albon, in a career that’s lasted barely over a year has impressed me far more than what Stroll has managed in nearly four – especially given the level of support and comfort he has. At the end of the day Stroll should be a lot better than he’s currently showing, and maybe we’ll see that now and then I’ll change my opinion.

        1. @rocketpanda I’m not saying Stroll is better than Albon, he isn’t. I just mean their current relative level of performance (Stroll is perhaps maximizing his talent, Albon for whatever reason isn’t).

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