Canadian Grand Prix promoter Francois Dumontier has defended Lance Stroll, as the young Québécoise prepares for his second season with his billionaire father’s purpose-bought Formula 1 team.
According to Dumontier, who promotes Stroll’s home race in Montreal, told La Presse that time is not a commodity that Formula 1 fans are affording the Racing Point driver in his quest for F1 progress.
“People are impatient. They have a short fuse with Lance,” charged Dumontier. “It shouldn’t be forgotten that when his father’s group took over Force India, which was in administration, it had easily been a year since there was any development in the team at all.
They have some catching up to do, but I think it will come,” predicted the race promoter.
Meanwhile, Stroll – whose father Lawrence Stroll took over the financially flailing Force India team in 2018 – knows he must up his game against teammate Sergio Perez at Racing Point this year.
“It’s simple. He had a good second half of the season and I didn’t,” Stroll said in the interview. “It’s always good to have someone who serves as a reference for the car, but in the end, it’s up to you to tune the car and adapt your driving style to maximize your results.
“It’s good to be able to count on a teammate as experienced as him – it allows me to see and understand how I can improve. I was very fortunate to be able to count on him last season.”
But the 21-year-old is predicting a better 2020, “The fact that I can go again with the same team, for a second consecutive season and with more experience, is simple mathematics. It will be a big benefit.
“That’s what I believe, but I will have to wait another year before I can confirm my theory,” explained Stroll.
The young Canadian emerged into the top flight in 2017 as a teenager with Williams and, it can be said, his rookie season was impressive if not stellar, but the once-great team’s demise took a heavy knock when Paddy Lowe and his team concocted a brick of an F1 car which exposed Stroll.
But the Racing Point driver is adamant that there has been growth, “It was the same at Williams, even if you couldn’t see the progress because of the poor quality of the 2018 car. But I had the impression that I understood more what I had to do with the car.
“In that sense, I think it will be similar next season with this car. We also now have the luxury of time to prepare, which we didn’t have last winter because of all the changes happening in the team,” added Stroll.