Williams driver Lance Stroll believes that his difficult season is part of a “love-hate relationship” with Formula 1.
In his rookie season in F1, Stroll scored a podium and qualified on the front row. Unfortunately, the team’s struggles this year have resigned him to much lower results.
He has only had one point-scoring finish in eighth in Azerbaijan, the same circuit where he took his maiden podium. Both he and teammate Sirotkin have struggled to make it out of the first part of qualifying this season.
Stroll admitted that he still “feels the buzz of being in F1 all the time” inspite of been restricted to “little glory moments” this year.
“This sport is a love-hate relationship and you have to have pride in the difficult times,” said Stroll. “You have to reflect on the past and know that there were good times, and [believe there are] good times ahead.
“You have to ride the rollercoaster. That’s what F1 is.
“You just always have to keep the morale high and keep positive and disconnect from the track when you can and come to work motivated and ready to go, regardless of what the situation is.
“This sport changes all the time and it’s just about being there and waiting for your moment to shine.”
Stroll has adjusted his targets during the tough season. He said that for those familiar with how F1 works know that “12th or 13th place in a Williams is a good race”.
“Of course the results are not the ones we want, but picking up points in Baku was good,” he said.
“The few times I have got into Q2 felt good, you have to get everything out of it and as a driver that is satisfying.
“I feel like I made a good step over the winter and that I’m much more on top of the car than I was last year.”
He confessed that it has been tough to evaluate the team’s progress this year. Especially after starting behind and having up-and-down results since. But he is confident that Williams can target points over the rest of the season.
“A lot of the time we see some hope after a good weekend and then the following weekend [is tougher],” Lance Stroll said.
“Like in Austria, for example, I got into Q2 and we were a lot closer to and even in front of some of the competitors. Then the following weekend at Silverstone we had that stall problem which disappointed everyone.
“It’s still hard to come to a conclusion over where we are with development and where we are compared to the others.
“The goal now is to just keep having some consistent weekends with the aim of being further up the grid. Then we can come to a conclusion that we are going in the right direction.”