‘A survival year’. That’s how Lance Stroll assesses his Williams team's underwhelming performance in 2018. And while it’s been tough second season in F1 for the young Canadian, who has spent much of the campaign fighting it out at the back of the field, he takes confidence from the ‘challenging’ experience and hopes it stands him in good stead for the future...
Williams, who were double world champions in 1997 – the last time they secured F1 title success – are bottom of the pile this season, having secured just seven points with Stroll having contributed six of them, while they have lost both cars in Q1 11 times in 20 races this season.
The performance of the struggling FW41 has certainly been tough to take for Stroll, and although he was damning in his criticism of the F1 challenger, the 2016 European F3 champion sees the positives too.
“Yeah, it has been very challenging,” said Stroll. “The car just hasn’t been there so we’ve just been surviving every weekend rather than actually competing.
“We’ve been getting knocked out in Q1 a lot, most of the races I’ve had good starts and I’ve been in a points-scoring position, we’ve just fell back down the order so it’s kind of always been the case, we’ve just been on the back foot throughout the whole year.
“We haven’t really developed the car at all since Australia, I don’t think we’ve really improved the car at all. It’s been tough to see some of our competitors early on, like Sauber, for example, who were neck and neck with us at the beginning, make big steps in the right direction, compared to us.