Stroll believes he is "far from reaching" his F1 potential

Lance Stroll believes that Williams' underperformance this season has concealed his development as a Formula 1 driver, but that he is still a long way from fulfilling his potential.

Stroll believes he is "far from reaching" his F1 potential

Stroll has finished in the top 10 in just two grands prix this season, scoring six points, and made it through to Q3 only once.

By this point last year - 14 races into the season - he had scored 28 points over the course of five top 10 finishes, including one podium at the chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

"I'm still only 19 so I think I'm far from reaching my potential as a driver," he said. "I still have so much to learn and I gain so much experience every time I get in the car, I still feel I'm learning.

"So there's definitely a lot more to come. But at the same time, when I reflect on where I was last year I think I've come a long way as a driver with seat time and experience."

Last season, Stroll was outqualified by his veteran teammate Felipe Massa 17 times, whereas this year the contest between Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin is much closer.

In terms of pure pace, in dry qualifying conditions Sirotkin has been on average 0.09s faster and outqualified Stroll seven times to five, discounting penalties and races in which one or both drivers were unable to set a laptime.

But such comparisons are rendered problematic by the well-documented underperformance of the troublesome FW41.

"Unfortunately it's been a challenging year with the car and the team," he said, "so I haven't really been able to demonstrate that to a certain extent, but I do believe I've got better in that area [qualifying pace].

"I feel like I'm a lot more on top of the car. I know that from a position [results] point of view that doesn't show because of where we are as a team.

"But I definitely do feel that I'm getting a lot more out of the car, and I'm much more on top of things in qualifying and the race, strategically, my starts, all those aspects.

"Now it's just about carrying on improving on those details and building myself as a driver. In racing, like in any sport, you never stop improving."

Stroll continues to be the focus of speculation regarding a possible move to Force India, which was recently acquired by a consortium of investors led by Stroll's father Lawrence.

While he declined to comment on such rumours, he said that he has has little significant input into the ongoing restructure of the Williams team operations recently revealed by Motorsport.com.

"I've been involved to an extent," he said. "But I really just involve my technical group of people, the people that I work with, engineers, strategists, tyre people, and then the rest is management - above my pay grade."

Lance Stroll, Williams FW41

Lance Stroll, Williams FW41

Photo by: Andrew Hone / LAT Images

shares
comments
Raikkonen's manager explains thinking behind Sauber move
Previous article

Raikkonen's manager explains thinking behind Sauber move

Next article

Does Leclerc deal mean Ferrari is losing faith in Vettel?

Does Leclerc deal mean Ferrari is losing faith in Vettel?
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021