Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Imola, 2020

Stroll frustrated at being “slow throughout qualifying”

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll’s troubled return following his the Covid-19 infection which kept him out of the Eifel Grand Prix continued at Imola, where he posted his worst qualifying result of the season so far.

Speaking after the session Stroll, who had one lap time deleted for a track limits violation, was at a loss to explain why he was so far from the pace.

“I was just slow throughout qualifying so I need to look at why that was,” he said. “It was a very frustrating session, we were just not quick, so we’ll look into it.”

Stroll drove a GP2 car at the track earlier in the year in preparation for F1’s return to Imola, which it hasn’t raced at since 2006.

Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer said he expects a better performance from Stroll in the race, which he will start from 15th on the grid. “He said that he was happy with the balance of the car, he just needed to push a little bit more,” said Szafnauer.

“I think he did push – I didn’t see the lap time that was deleted or where that would have gotten him. But he was pushing a little bit too hard and exceeded the track limits. Hopefully tomorrow he’ll get a good start and I’m sure he’ll do a good job on a Sunday, he’ll race well.

Stroll’s deleted lap time was over half a second slower than his eventual qualifying time.

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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
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14 comments on “Stroll frustrated at being “slow throughout qualifying””

  1. All the GP2 car practice didn’t help.

    1. I dunno, he went just as slowly :)

  2. This sequence is very funny:

    “I think he did push – I didn’t see the lap time that was deleted or where that would have gotten him.”

    Stroll’s deleted lap time was over half a second slower than his eventual qualifying time.

    1. @bakano I can only assume the door in this case was marked “pull”…

    2. @bakano I actually liked this clear train of thought from Szafnauer

      he just needed to push a little bit more

      I think he did push

      he was pushing a little bit too hard

      1. True Dave. That would work perfectly well during the session:
        – “you need to push more”
        – “good, you’re pushing”
        – “ah, you pushed too hard!”.

        But since the deleted time was 0,5s (a big margin) slower, talking about it and using “push more/hard” terminology is just silly.
        Either silly because they were trying to shift “blame” to the track limits rule, or because they were trying to save face.

        The truth is, track limits or not, he was just slow today and let’s see how he fares in the race.
        I’m not expecting a good performance myself…

  3. I wonder if he’s still a bit hazy. He was doing well until he caught the virus. It can do some strange and unpredictable things with nerves, and having touch and feel is really crucial – especially the way stroll saws at the wheel!
    Not saying that’s the case, but it is slightly strange given his pretty good start to the season to see him so poor.

    1. To be fair, he wasn’t doing that badly last race until that mistake which is what everyone seems to remember. His qualifying has been poor all year, but his race starts have been about the best of any driver and actually around half the races him and Perez started, he’s usually got ahead or at least recovered from his out of position qualifying start. Russia is an example of where Perez got praised, but in reality, it is quite possible Stroll would have beaten him there. Perez and Stroll both lost places off the line, but Stroll actually then overtook around 8 cars and got right behind Perez until Leclerc took him out. As he was on new tyres and by the way his start was could, he quite possibly could have got ahead of Perez and gone long and then could have finished ahead.

      I still think that this year Peres has only marginally been better than Stroll. I think Stroll will be back to being decent again tomorrow.

  4. I guess there’s a limit to just how much time money can buy.

  5. Think of the lesson Seb is learning.

    1. The lesson is. I just leave any team which doesn’t give me No.1 status. Because without No.1 status and the best car on the grid, I am just a very good driver.

      That’s always been Seb’s problem AND his strength. When he got beaten at Red Bull by Webber, Red Bull went through everything with a fine tooth comb. All their best engineers, all their best analysts to help Seb and work out why Webber was quicker. When Seb was faster they didn’t care much for helping Webber.

      The press are quick to label Seb as an all time great. In reality he is a very, very good driver made to look great by being given No.1 status and the best car. Most drivers on the f1 grid in the last 30 years would be world champion given those circumstances.

      1. I don’t remember Webber beating Vettel for any substantial stretch of time. In the season they were the closest to each other (2010) Seb lost three race wins due to failures (sparkplug in Bahrain, brakes in Melbourne and engine in Korea). Webber was also guilty of ignoring team orders at least twice (Silverstone 2011: ‘Multi-12’, ‘Mark we need to maintain the gap’ and Interlagos 2012, though in the latter he did finally allow Seb past).

  6. Best thing Lance can do is give his seat to a more deserving driver.

  7. Looking great for next year. 2 drivers with no speed
    Thanks Ottmar good job
    At least you will be gone at the end of this year.good work today on the Perez tire change now 5th

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