‘Stroll can have a phenomenal second year’


Although Lance Stroll made history in his debut season, Williams are expecting even better from their Canadian driver with Paddy Lowe predicting a “phenomenal second year.”

Stroll made his Formula 1 debut last season and became the youngest rookie to reach the podium when he finished P3 in Baku.

He went on to become the youngest front row starter at the Italian Grand Prix and finished the season as the only driver outside of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull to reach the podium.

And Williams predict an even better second season for their teenage driver.

“I think that Lance will approach his second season in a completely different place to his first,” Lowe, Williams technical chief, told ESPN.

“He came in very young, 18 years old, a very new environment, new challenge, it’s a huge amount of information to manage and use in the intense environment of Formula One racing.

“So I think at his second season he’ll be so much better off and a year older, a year at that age is a really big step.”

Asked if people had expected too much from Stroll last year, Lowe replied: “Yeah, I agree, and people do keep forgetting how young Lance is.

“I think we’ve got all the hope and the promise he can have a phenomenal second year and keep building a terrific career in Formula One.”

He added: “He knows all the tracks, he knows his way around, so he can be hugely more confident and build on the things he did last year, which were already some great successes, some very notable statistics.

“My favourite, the one less talked about, is his first-lap performance. I had that feeling all year, just objectively, that he was looking really strong in that aspect but I was pleased to see the formal calculation that he’d achieved the most overtakes in lap one confirmed that.

“It’s a terrific statistic, as we know there are many drivers who can get a great grid spot and then throw it away at the first corner in silly incidents. Lance has shown himself able to fight and yet not step over the line and throw it all away.”