Williams Martini Racing’s Lance Stroll can be proud of his first season in Formula One. The Canadian entered the sport having replaced Felipe Massa ahead of the start of the 2017 season only to have the Brazilian return to the Grove based outfit to replace Valtteri Bottas who had replaced former Williams driver Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.
A lot had been made of the fact that Williams had signed Stroll with many media outlets suggesting that financial considerations played a crucial part in the Canadian getting the seat however this was far from the truth.
Stroll came into Formula One with heavy expectations on his shoulders. It may have taken him a while to get up to speed this season but when he did, the Canadian hit the ground running. In his home race at the Canadian Grand Prix in June, Stroll started the race from 17th place and came through the field to finish the event in ninth place to score two points.
In the very next race, the European Grand Prix at the Azerbaijan circuit, Stroll scored his maiden Formula One podium finish when he ended the race in third place just missing out on second to Valtteri Bottas.
In Austria, the very next race, the young Canadian scored yet another points finish when he came home in 10th place.
At the Italian Grand Prix in September, following a fantastic performance in qualifying, Stroll started the race from the front row of the grid in second place behind Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and finished the event in seventh place just ahead of his team mate Felipe Massa.
In the very next race in Singapore, Stroll finished the race in eighth place and followed that result up with another eighth place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
In Mexico last month, Stroll came home in sixth place and finished the season off in Abu Dhabi on Sunday in 18th place however the Canadian ended the season in 12th place in the championship just three points behind his team mate Felipe Massa.
Williams struggled with their car this season however Stroll proved that he was able to out-perform the car on occasions such as in Azerbaijan and again in Monza.
The Canadian will remain with the Williams Martini Racing team in 2018 and speaking following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix he commented by saying:
First of all, I want to say a big thank you to the team for everything this year, because the highlights have been incredible, especially in Baku and Monza. We have had great races, finished in the points seven times, so it is a big thank you to them for all their hard work and I have been proud to be a part of this team. However, it was not a good race today. I hate to be negative, but nothing worked this weekend so I just couldn’t get the tyres switched on and I was just lost out there. We weren’t in the race today. We had three pitstops and still it didn’t work. The last two weekends were ones to forget and before that, we were doing just fine. We need to understand what exactly went wrong. I know it was tyre related, but we are missing a huge chunk of lap time and it is coming from somewhere because before that I was confident in the car. Now I shall have some time off, but then get back to work and work harder than ever and come into 2018 as strong as I can possibly be and be on top of my game as much as possible.