SportPesa Racing Point driver Lance Stroll admits his run of Q1 exits has become a “pain in the arse”.
The Canadian racer has been eliminated in Q1 for 13-consecutive races in a slump stretching back to the 2018 United States Grand Prix, but the fact that he feels only tiny factors are stopping him from progressing to Q2 makes it more frustrating.
To his credit Stroll has been able to turn his weekend around consistently with a strong race performance and it’s this what keeps his spirits up.
“I know in the back of mind that it is just a process and right now it is a bit of a pain in the arse on Saturday,” he told Motorsport.com.
“And ultimately, if I could sign up on Sundays for points rather than [doing well on] Saturdays, I would. We’ve proven we can do well in the races. But it is still an area we can build on; and we have to keep working on it.”
The 20-year-old thinks incidents like his engine troubles in Canada and being unlucky with traffic have caused this run to go on for longer than it should have.
“It’s tiny things,” he said. “I know that we are right there on many occasions and we could have been in Q2 but s*** happens.
“We had the engine in Canada. In Monaco we had some traffic and in Melbourne we were on for a really good performance and looking at Q3, but our Saturday got ruined by traffic. It is always little things like that, but I am sure it is the same for everyone.”
Updates are in the pipeline for SportPesa Racing Point to address the balance issues of the RP19, and Stroll believes these problems are magnified in qualy trim.
“I’ve been happier driving the car on Sundays,” he explained.
“It is giving me what I am looking for, and I can use it to my advantage and manage the tyres well which leads to a good race.
“That is a huge part of racing. Starts and tyre management are today’s F1. And it is ultimately what brings home points, which is what we are after.”