Lance Stroll secured only his second top ten finish of the season on Sunday, with the Canadian finishing the Italian Grand Prix on the track in tenth, although this became ninth when Romain Grosjean was disqualified ahead of him.
The Williams Martini Racing team has endured one of their toughest seasons in their history, with Stroll’s eighth place finish in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix the sole points result in the opening thirteen races, but race fourteen turned out to be luckier for them, with the Canadian qualifying inside the top ten on Saturday before both he and team-mate Sergey Sirotkin profited from Grosjean’s exclusion to claim ninth and tenth.
Stroll admitted it was a great feeling to finally return to the points after such a testing season, although he had doubts before the race begun that he could stay inside the top ten.
“Feeling good is an understatement,” said Stroll. “I hoped we would score points, but I didn’t really expect it. We didn’t expect coming into today we would have the pace to stay there, but we did.
“We were following Sainz all race and were catching him a little bit towards the end, so I am really happy with the job we did today and all weekend. We really nailed it this weekend in qualifying, the race and with the strategy. It was one of those weekends where it all just came together.
“The key was just solid work all weekend and everyone in the team played their part.”
Stroll felt the Monza track suited the FW41, but it has given him some confidence heading to the Singapore Grand Prix later this month, another venue he scored points at in his rookie campaign.
“I think this track suited us, but I am still going to be positive going into Singapore, as there last year we had pretty poor pace in qualifying, so qualified 18th, but finished eighth,” said Stroll.
“There are always opportunities.”