Claire Williams said this week that the team’s #1 driver Lance Stroll is “living up to expectations.” A P8 finish in Baku in a terrible FW41 has seemingly earned the Canadian a contract extension.
In 2018 Stroll and teammate Sergey Sirotkin have struggled massively with the FW41. Weekend in and out the Martini duo are racing for 19th and 20th place on the grid. The downfall of Williams has been painful to watch as the once dominant force in F1 has become a relegated shell of its former self. Williams has become the Lotus/Caterham outfit on the grid with no promotion in sight.
Stroll will almost certainly be back with Williams in 2019. If you listen to Williams it’s because of his talent and on track performance. It’s certainly not because Daddy Stroll is dumping the GDP of Laos into the team keeping them afloat.
“He’s under a lot of pressure, getting criticism that is not deserved and I think he’s showing tremendous maturity in dealing with all of it,” said Williams. She’s not wrong, we’ve all been hard on Lance from time to time. Sometimes unfairly but when the test driver in Robert Kubica is faster than you it’s hard to convince fans you’re the right guy for the job.
Lance Stroll has enough talent to be on the F1 grid but he doesn’t have World Championship talent. He does have a podium in Baku 2017, he has scored points but Phil Massa was still outperforming him 13 weekends to 6 last season. He’s essentially a wealthier John Wes Townley only instead of chicken money he has clothing money like Tommy Wiseau. Street Fashions USA, Mark.
Stroll is still out there pounding pavement trying to find seconds of time instead of tenths. Will he ever win a race? Probably not but he could spend the rest of his career taking the Jarno Trulli route, a decade of work and only one real race to show for it.
F1 is headed to Montreal this weekend, the site of his first points finish in F1 last season. A points finish is less likely this year but at least he has a new contract coming his way.
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