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Stroll satisfied with his progress in 2017


By Andrew Hooper
August 13 2017

The arrival of Lance Stroll at the Williams Martini team produced a variety of comment with a focus been on the fact that he only reason that he got the driver was due to the significant financial contribution to the Williams team by his father. But with the Williams team on their summer break we can now look back at the season so far for Lance Stroll.

 
 Stroll satisfied with his progress in 2017
 
Stroll
 

The arrival of Lance Stroll at the Williams Martini team produced a variety of comment with a focus been on the fact that he only reason that he got the driver was due to the significant financial contribution to the Williams team by his father. But with the Williams team on their summer break we can now look back at the season so far for Lance Stroll.

Despite been probably the best prepared rookie coming into Formula one having spent a considerable part of 2016 testing in an older version of the Williams the opening series of races would turn out to be a frustrating time with poor qualifying results as well as accidents ending in retirements. This learning process was made even more difficult by the fact that the 2017 Williams was even a difficult car to produce results in for his far more experienced team-mate Felipe Massa.

But for the young Canadian his season would start to come together with his first points scoring result coming in his home race in Canada, courtesy of a ninth place finish. This results was backed up by a podium finish in Azerbaijan with a third place finish. That weekend saw both Williams drivers have a car that was very competitive allowing both drivers to produce a very competitive weekend despite the retirement of Felipe Massa. Also was the fact that 2017 saw such major changes to the cars themselves with changes to the aerodynamics and tyres making the learning process for lance even that much harder.

Lance would add another point to his results in Austria, seeing him currently twelfth in the championship, one spot and five points behind team-mate Felipe Massa. His performances in the most recent races have help silence those who were of the opinion that he only got into Formula One due to his fathers money. But criticism has continued also in light of the performances of another 2017 rookie Ocon who has achieved far better results but in what must be admitted to be a far better car than the Williams FW40.

As for the comments regarding his fathers money Lance does not deny that he has been lucky to come from his background but at the same time he would like people to remember that he has worked through several championships to get to where he is today. His results including winning the European F3 championship show that he has the talent to succeed.

In an interview for ESPN Lance spoke of this by saying "I know why I'm here. I can't deny the reality, the reality is I had a great opportunity growing up as a kid that not a lot of people have. I was very fortunate to come from where I come from and be able to make that move from Canada to Europe to pursue my dreams.

"But I grabbed it with both hands and I won my championships to get here, I won my Formula 4 championship, I won my Formula 3 championship, I did all that and I got my super licence points which not everyone can get. You have to go out and deliver the results to get that and get into Formula 1.

"So that's where my focus is at, I'm very thankful for the opportunity I've been given growing up as a kid, but at the same time I worked really hard to get here. I could easily be running around in last place with all the money in the world. But that's not how I did it, and that's what matters to me.

"Also in Formula One you need, other than if you're in the top three teams, you need some backing to help you, even in the lower ranks, motorsport is incredibly expensive. I have sponsors as well who have backed me other than my father, so there's more to the story than just my father's money."

As for the continued comments regarding his fathers money Lance spoke of how he deals with it. Lance added: "You just turn it off, but at the same time you have to look at the facts. I'm not here to prove anyone wrong, I'm here to do it for myself and my team.

"I'm not here to 'show the critics', or whatever it is, I know why I'm here and that I deserve to be here. I won Formula 3 championship and was the youngest ever to win it, and by a massive margin, and a lot of work went into it.

"And now, youngest rookie to ever be on the podium, that's an accomplishment and I think for people to take that away from me and say 'it's just money', it's not true. Showing those results, looking at the points, I'm still in the [midfield] mix. There will still be hard weekends, good weekends, that's how it works, but I've proven I belong to be here in F1. The results speak for themselves."

As for his results in 2017 Lance is the first to admit that he still has a lot to learnt adding: “I think there’s always things to work on, especially where I am now, being my first season.”

“The learning never stops, every time I get in the car there’s something to work on, but I’m pretty happy with the way it’s been going lately.

“We had our tough moments, which was expected in a first season, you have to expect adversity, you’ve got to get over it.

“We had some great moments, scoring points, the podium in Baku was great, we scored a good amount of points the first part of the season.

“So far, so good, but there’s still a long way to go and we have to take it race-by-race and take it one point at a time.”

If you had to sum up his 2017 season so far the comments would be a positive start to the 2017 season with a fantastic third place podium but Lance still has a lot to learn and has to be patient as he continues his rookie year in Formula One. There has been quite a few times when on the radio to his engineer that there seems to be a feeling of frustration that he can't get the car to work as he wants it. This will come with time but it must be said that he certainly has put himself in a position where he should be able to say that he has justified his place in the Williams team even with his fathers money.

 

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