After a trying start to his debut season, Paddy Lowe believes Lance Stroll has “cracked” F1 and will only get better from here on.
The 18-year-old rookie had a tough time at the start of his debut campaign, recording three retirements on the trot.
Added to that, he struggled to take the fight to team-mate Felipe Massa, earning him widespread criticism – not helped by his pay driver status.
Stroll, though, finally got it right in Canada where he finished ninth in front of his home crowd. He followed that up with a maiden podium result in Baku and more points in Austria.
“There were some very difficult periods, but actually I feel he’s cracked it now and we can only really get better from here,” Williams tech chief Lowe told Autosport.
“Now it’s the confidence of the podium, even when he is having a really bad day you have something to lean on and go ‘you know, I did that on that day and I can do it again’.
“He is racing really well. He shows great maturity on race day, that was no more clear than in the race in Baku.
“He kept his head, stayed clear of trouble while still maintaining good pace.
“That sort of maturity normally takes some years to become apparent, so I think he’s showing great promise in that respect.”
He added: “It is just incremental [learning] in the car over the next one to two years.
“If he keeps up that rate, he will be showing himself to be very strong and showing himself to be a very strong competitor.”