Stroll vows to fight team mate Perez hard for podium as Racing Point lockout row 2
Lance Stroll's first podium appearance in F1 was with Williams back in 2017, and after a stellar qualifying performance in Hungary saw him seal P3 on the grid, the Canadian says he’s ready to fight team mate Sergio Perez hard for a chance to get back on the rostrum this weekend.
A top three finish for either driver would be Racing Point's first since the team was rebranded from Force India in 2019, and with podium specialist Perez starting alongside him, Stroll was asked after qualifying whether fans should expect a scrap between the two pink cars when the lights go out to start Sunday's race.
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"Yes. I think he’s starting fourth? Yeah, I guess so," Stroll replied with a chuckle. "Everybody’s entitled to race out there, so I hope we get to race hard. He’s going to fight for the podium, I’m going to fight for the podium.
"[I] Haven’t been on the podium in like two or three years so I’m hoping we can have a good start and a good race. Been a while since I stood on the podium, I could do that again one of these days, that was nice… "
As well as starting P3 and P4 on the grid, the Racing Points also have the potential advantage of starting the race on medium tyres – the only cars in the top ten other than the Mercedes pair to do so. That could allow them to stay out longer than their rivals and switch to soft tyres for a faster final stint in the race.
But in order to start the race on the mediums, the drivers had to set their best times in Q2 on those tyres – something Stroll said was a “gamble” as he finished seventh and Perez ninth in Q2 – both just making it into Q3 by just a few tenths of a second on the slower tyre in a nailbiting session, with the likes of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, Williams’ George Russell and Red Bull’s Alex Albon coming close to knocking Perez out.
FORMULA 1 ARAMCO MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2020
|1 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes||1:13.447|
|2 Valtteri Bottas BOT Mercedes||1:13.554|
|3 Lance Stroll STR Racing Point||1:14.377|
|4 Sergio Perez PER Racing Point||1:14.545|
|5 Sebastian Vettel VET Ferrari||1:14.774|
“For sure, it was a gamble, but you know that’s going to put us in a good position for tomorrow so I’m really happy that we managed to get through on the mediums and my lap at the end really felt like it was spot on.
“It always feels great when you put it all together at the end of qualifying. There’s a big smile under here,” concluded Stroll, pointing to his face mask.
READ MORE: 90th career pole required ‘absolute perfection’, says Hamilton