Lance Stroll revelled in being on the “front foot” throughout the Las Vegas Grand Prix, going from the last row of the grid to the top five in the race.
He started 19th after a five-place grid penalty, but stopped twice under the Safety Car to capitalise on the yellow flag conditions and minimise his time loss.
Coupled with an excellent start that saw him gain 10 places on the first lap alone, Stroll made the biggest gain of the day throughout the field in Las Vegas.
Lance Stroll reacts to huge 14-place gain in Las Vegas Grand Prix
Stroll crossed the line sixth but was bumped up to fifth when a time penalty for George Russell was applied, with the Canadian very much enjoying his evening under the lights in Nevada.
“That was a fun race!” Stroll said afterwards.
“I gained 10 positions in the first corner with a lot of other drivers going wide, moving up from P19 to P9, so it immediately felt like it was all to play for.
“From that point, we were on the front foot and attacking throughout the race with a quick car.
“We made some good strategy calls, pitting under both Safety Cars, and then I was able to pass a few cars into Turn 1 to secure P5.
“It was a great track to race at and I’m pleased we were able to put on a good show for the fans.”
2009 World Champion Jenson Button was on punditry duties for the race and acknowledged that this season has been an inconsistent one for the Canadian.
But given the form he has shown of late, the former McLaren, Brawn and Williams driver believes Stroll has “turned a corner” with his mental state and that is showing its benefits on track.
“It’s been a massive up and down [season] for him this year,” Button said on Sky Sports F1 after the race.
“It started off really well, obviously he had his injury but did such a good race in Bahrain, and then had a quite a big slump.
“It happens, when things just aren’t going your way, but he’s had some really good performances towards the end of the year and he seems just confident in the way that he’s driving out there.
“Some of it was down to the Safety Car because it did bunch everyone up and it mixed it up a little bit, and I think that did help, but his pace was actually there.
“All the way through the race, if you look at his laps compared to the frontrunners, he wasn’t on their pace, but it actually wasn’t too far off.
“It’s such a mental sport and your head has to be in the right place, and he’s definitely turned a corner with that and it’s a lovely way for him to end the season looking forward to ’24.”