Otmar Szafnauer, Force India’s boss, believes that Lance Stroll is a potential game winner for them and that the team would help the youngster build in confidence and experience. Despite not being announced officially, it is a well known fact that Lance Stroll will be partnering with Sergio Perez, come 2019. “We will not announce the other driver until Esteban’s future is clarified. There’s no reason to rush, simply out of courtesy. It would be good if Esteban could announce his future himself,” Force India boss, Otmar Szafnauer said.
Otmar Szafnauer said that he did not know the nineteen year old personally but was aware of his achievements and skills. “I don’t know him well yet, but from the outside I’ve seen him do a good job”, said the Force India boss. “Next to Felipe Massa he finished three points behind last year and Felipe was world champion for half a lap in 2018″, Otmar Szafnauer recalled.
He also said that Lance Stroll was beating Sergey Sirotkin, despite Sirotkin’s speed at Williams. “And when Sergey Sirotkin went to Williams this year, everyone told me he is very fast in qualifying, but Lance is beating him”, he said. “All that suggests we are dealing with a great driver”, he added.
Otmar also said that conditioning younger drivers was what Force India was good at, as he pointed out at instances from the past, where they were able to successfully transform younger talent into something significant. “He’s still very young but we will help him to develop”, said the Force India boss. “And if there is something we know how to do, it’s how to train young drivers like Nico Hulkenberg, Paul di Resta, Jules Bianchi and others,” Szafnauer said. “We can extract the potential out of young drivers and with Lance it will be no different.”