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Young drivers are on the rise in Formula 1 and 22-year-old Lance Stroll is part of that new generation of racers. After two seasons with ailing Williams, Stroll had the opportunity to join Lawrence Stroll, his father’s team, at Racing Point, with varying degrees of success. In 2020, Stroll secured his first career pole position, setting the fastest lap time during a wet qualifying session in Turkey. He also added two podiums to his tally in the same year.
|Team||Aston Martin F1 team|
Fast-paced through the ranks
Lance's successes in karting put him directly on the map for big teams in Formula 1. Ferrari had included him in their junior programme (Ferrari Driver Academy) and the Canadian took part in two series in 2015: Formula 3 and the Toyota Racing Series. The Toyota Racing Series was won by Stroll but the first year in Formula 3 was disappointing with only P5.
Nevertheless, Lance Stroll remained loyal to the Prema team, with whom the Canadian also managed to win the Italian Formula 4 championship with in 2014. In 2016 Stroll got a second chance and won the title in Formula 3! But at a high price: before that season, the Canadian driver announced that he will switch from being a development driver at Ferrari to the Williams team. All ties with the team from Maranello are broken, but his debut in Formula 1 came very quickly.
Williams era to Racing Point
After the 2016 season in Formula 3, the time had come. Paddy Lowe of Williams announced the then still very young Stroll as a driver for the F1 team. Felipe Massa will stay another year to teach the Canadian a thing or two, but Stroll will have to show his best straight away. One bright spot is the podium finish in Baku during the season. Stroll will be the only driver in 2017, alongside the racers of the three top teams (Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull), who drank champagne on the podium.
In 2018, Williams' car (the FW41) was even worse, if possible, and Stroll had trouble scoring points. Veteran Felipe Massa left was replaced by Sergey Sirotkin. The Formula 1 team of Frank Williams ends with a meagre seven points in last place, Lance Stroll is responsible for six of those points.
In 2019, Stroll switched to a more competitive team (Racing Point), but there he'll make sure he's still a pay-driver at times. The son of the boss is far short of the experienced Sergio Perez and even managed to finish behind a Williams in several races.
Stroll made positive steps in his second season at Racing Point. The Canadian clinched a pole position in Turkey, his first of his career. He led the race for 32 laps, but a strategic mistake and some damage to the car meant he finished off the podium.
In the two best races of the 2020 season, Stroll finished on the podium. The first being at Monza when he accompanied first-time race winner Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz. During the second race in Bahrain, Stroll also completed the podium alongside another first-time race winner. This time it was his teammate, Sergio Perez.
Lance Stroll in 2021
With his father at the helm, Stroll seems assured of a future in Formula 1. Though 2021 will be a little different.
Racing Point will compete under the name Aston Martin, as the fruits from Lawerence Stroll's take over deal finally come through. Stroll will lineup alongside four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel who moves from Ferrari. Former teammate Sergio Perez was looking likely to miss out on a seat in 2021, until Red Bull signed the Mexican in December 2020.
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