Lance Stroll’s improved qualifying result is now being (as reported yesterday by TJ13) attributed to a private test at Austin in the ’14 Williams and, as suggested by Peter Windsor some sessions with noted F1 driver whisperer Rob Wilson.
Whatever the reason Baku for the Canadian will be taken as a win. Stroll the younger is now the second youngest racer ever on the podium after Dutchman Max Verstappen, who was 18 years 228 days old when he won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix and the first Canadian to finish on the podium since Jacques Villeneuve came third, the last of his 23 podium finishes, in the German Grand Prix in 2001..
Perhaps the turning point in Strolls race was the choice by Hamilton, Vettel, Perez, Raikkonen, Massa, Ocon, Verstappen all to stop for Soft tyres. With Max stranded in the pits with engine failure, Stroll was almost gifted a jump to P3.
There is no doubt that the ensuing chaos that TJ13 have labeled “The Battle in Baku” resulting in retirements, punctures from debris, extra pit stops, red flags and multiple safety cars all worked in the Canadians favour, and soon he was in P2, but we should not take anything away from his driving. Luck is rarely of any use unless it is backed up with some talent.
“It was such a hectic race and I kept my head cool, the team kept me cool over the radio and we took it to the end.”
Stroll reported after the race.
Stroll managed to keep hold of 2nd place until the last second where Bottas pipped him at the line is what must be one of the latest overtakes in years.
“It was a bit disappointing at the end to lose P2 but all in all an amazing race. I started to feel the rear going away so I knew it was going to be tricky to keep the pace.”
After the race Stroll told Sky Sports:
“You dream of being on an F1 podium, you work towards that and it finally comes true”
I bet drinking fizz out of a sweaty Aussie shoe was never part of his dream’s, but he could hardly refuse, and I doubt will ever forget. Especially after spitting out “the bits” pulling a face.. well only a father could love.