Lance Stroll had a much-improved season in 202o than he had during his first year with Racing Point. There were eyebrows raised when he was brought in from Williams to drive for a team owned by his father, Lawrence Stroll. His performances in 2019 didn’t help his cause either; people began saying he didn’t earn an F1 seat via merit.
This displeasure against Stroll only intensified further early into the season, and it was not because of his own performances. With Racing Point transforming into Aston Martin, Sergio Perez was axed for Sebastian Vettel. Many felt Stroll should have been the one who was shown the door.
However, Stroll went on to displace those accusations with a number of impressive performances. Not least, an incredible pole lap in Turkey during wet conditions and a slippery track. Performances such as those make his father believe he has fully justified his place in the sport and in the team.
Lawrence said, “I think his performance on the track 100% justified him being there. And, by the way, if he wasn’t my son, that performance alone, nobody would be questioning.
“Last year, being on pole in the wet, we all know in the wet it’s all about the driver. It takes the advantage of the car away and puts it in the driver’s hands. To put it on pole in the wet in Turkey, I think spoke for itself and speaks volumes. Leading the race for 30 laps, 20 seconds ahead speaks volumes.”
Stroll ended the 2020 season with 75 points and 11th place in the Drivers’ Championship table. These numbers could have been much better if he hadn’t run into some ill-luck through the course of the season.
The Aston Martin owner said, “He was in the top four until he had a tyre blow in Mugello when he probably would have been on the podium.
“He had Leclerc take him out in Russia, he had [Norris] take him out the race after, none of which were any things that he did wrong. So I think when you put that whole season together, it was quite impressive what a 21 year old – he wasn’t 22 at the time – was able to do.”
In addition to those incidents, Stroll had an engine failure in Austria, missed the race in Germany due to the virus, and had a DNF in Bahrain as well. Despite that, he managed to put his car on the podium not once but twice.
He certainly zipped up the mouths of some haters. However, he’ll have to do it again this year to show that last season wasn’t a fluke. Stroll will have Vettel paired alongside him. If the Canadian can beat Vettel over the course of the season, then nobody would be questioning his place in the sport or in the team.