Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Racing Point expect better performance from Stroll at Imola after troubled return

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer says Lance Stroll wasn’t at his peak form in last weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix on his return after contracting Covid-19.

Stroll missed the Eifel Grand Prix after catching the virus, as team mate Sergio Perez did earlier in the season. On his return at the Autodromo do Algarve Stroll was involved in two separate collisions, the second of which ruined his race, which he later retired from.

Szafnauer said he believes Stroll “will get better” over the coming rounds. “Even Sergio after he missed a couple of races [found] it hard because your competition hasn’t missed any. So you bounce back, but you’re not quite to the same level as everyone else around you who hasn’t missed anything. So Lance will be better in Imola.”

The team believe Stroll was on course for a top-five finish before his collision with Norris, which earned the Racing Point driver a five second time penalty.

“When he came together with Lando that was an overtake for seventh place. So he started 12th and in a few laps he was quicker than Lando, he should have got seventh.

“Had he made that move stick we think he would have been around where Gasly finished which would have been a pretty good result, starting from 12th. We had a good race car.”

The penalty decision “was a bit harsh” said Szafnauer. “Lance was a bit ahead of Lando when he turned in, Lando put himself in the middle of the track, Lance was a bit quicker. I don’t know if Lance could have, without turning in, made the corner or got around there. So to me, a bit of a racing incident”

Asked by RaceFans whether he felt Stroll was still suffering the after effects of the virus, Szafnauer said: “That’s hard for me to tell. [If] you ask Lance that question, he’s training with his trainer and his trainer sees no difference. He feels well in himself. So that’s a hard thing to answer.”

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2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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24 comments on “Racing Point expect better performance from Stroll at Imola after troubled return”

  1. Lance Stroll still feeling the effects of being Lance Stroll

  2. Come on he missed out one race.

    1. how many did hulkenberg miss? he still dragged the car into points.

  3. lol. he missed a race. Hulkenberg missed 10 and barely knows the car. Who fared better on the last couple of races ?

    Everything goes to cover the sloppy driving of the lil’ boss.

  4. Lmao a few months ago everyone was talking about how well he was doing.

    I’m loving how perez is crushing him in the later part of the season.

  5. Do yo you enjoy seeing someone crushed? Sad, man.

  6. Feels like Safznauer is getting snagged up between being a racing TP and a management TP. Gotta be realistic about how the season is going but needs to appease those with an ownership stake.

    1. I doubt he needs to appease anyone. Stroll Sr. is too heavily invested in the team to pull out his $ and go elsewhere and Stroll Sr has struck me as a pragmatist that wouldn’t punish a proven TP for not blowing on and then kissing Lance’s ouchie. That said, I agree with your basic premise. They’d never be this forgiving of a driver who didn’t basically own the team

  7. Stroll almost seems to be getting worse. That’s a bad sign.

  8. The idea that the best drivers are in F1 is laughable.

    1. Sad because when F1 was truly dangerous there were not many rich kids.

  9. ‘Otmar Szafnauer says Lance Stroll wasn’t at his peak form’

    Can’t talk badly of the boss’s son really, can he? Very diplomatic… 🤔

    1. Strolls are not as funny and entertaining as Vijay was.

  10. I’m sure they don’t actually except anything better from Stroll, as he’s been doing moves like that one on Norris since way back in his F3 career (Spa and Monza, both in 2015 for example). It seems Stroll just has poor awareness when racing others.

  11. With Pastor Maldonado long gone, and now Romain Grosjean waving his white national flag, is Babby-Stroll going to come into his own and carve a name for himself? Will he finally gain recognition among his peers, and have his name spoken with passion through the lips of the likes of Ricciardo, Leclerc and Russell? If Lando Norris is anything to go by, there has already been an emergence!

    Will the Babby emerge from Papa’s shadow? …..and will it be like groundhog day, as in, if he sees his own shadow we will get 6 more years of Lance “The Chance (he’ll punt-you-off)” Stroll?

    Even if Babby’s name remains at the complete insignificant levels it is today, as fans we have nothing to worry about, as there is still a Torpedo on the grid.

  12. As a life-long fan of Aston Martin Racing, having the Strolls involved in both the team and company have somewhat dampened my enthusiasm for their return for Formula 1.

    They don’t come across as being particularly pleasant people.

    1. Indeed truly sad for AM.

  13. Sadly I have to agree with you. Sergio is a far superior driver to Lance and brings in millions of dollars in sponsorship to the team each year, yet has his contract terminated to bring in Seb. Nepotism at its best. Otmar has to walk a tightrope and say nice things about the bosses son even though he’s learned next to nothing in the last few years.

    1. I feel for Otmar and all employees who absolutely loved Perez.

    2. Seb, of all people. My granny would probably had been a much better choice.

  14. Racing Point = Deceit.

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