Williams Martini Racing’s Lance Stroll had a fantastic race at the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday. The Canadian celebrated his 19th Birthday by finishing the race in sixth place just behind Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
Stroll, who started the race from 11th place commented by saying:
I think it was a very controlled race. I had a really good start, but then lost some positions as I was on the outside. There were some technical issues and crashes and so I gained some places due to that. We had a good idea all along, assuming I was going to stay in one piece and everything was going to continue along smoothly, we could have a good race. I had a great first stint, a great second stint and in the end I wasn’t quite close enough to get into the DRS zone to pass Ocon. I was really managing the tyres and the car was balanced very well, so a big thanks to the team. It was a great day, a great result and a great birthday present. Big congratulations to Lewis, he is the king of Formula One, there is no doubt about it. It is incredible what he has accomplished. He is a big inspiration for young drivers like me.
The result has moved Stroll ahead of his team mate Felipe Massa in the drivers championship. The Canadian is now in 10th place in the standings on 40 points with two races remaining in 2017.
Felipe Massa had a disappointing race on Sunday just missing out on a top ten finish coming home in 11th place having started the race from 10th. Speaking following the race, the Brazilian whose home race is next on the calendar commented by saying:
I’m really disappointed. It was a shame to stop so soon with the puncture at the beginning of the race. The car was good, competitive and I’m sure it would have been a completely different situation if we didn’t have the puncture. That’s the way it is sometimes. I’m happy for the team as we scored more points than Renault with two races to go but it was really a shame for me to have another unlucky moment.
Williams Martini Racing’s Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe commented on the Mexican Grand Prix by saying:
We had a good start and both cars got into reasonably good positions, apparently without damage, but that proved not to be the case. Felipe had a slow puncture from some minor contact in the first corner and we had to box him on the second lap. We fitted prime tyres to go the end. We were reasonably confident that tyre would go the distance and Felipe managed it very well. He had good pace throughout the entire race and if not for Vettel and Hamilton coming through from the back, he would have perhaps got a point or two. So it was a shame for Felipe because the car was there to get points today and he drove extremely well. On Lance’s side, he showed strong pace and ran a great first stint on the ultrasoft tyre. He had some good fortune with the Virtual Safety Car which actually gained him a place over Perez. We were also able to fit the supersoft tyre at that stage to go to the end, so we had the tyre life and compound advantage over the two Force Indias. At one point it looked possible he could have taken the position off Ocon but it was just out of reach. It was a great sixth place finish though so Happy Birthday to Lance and well done for a great achievement today! We’ve taken some further advantage in our fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship and well done to the team for getting two cars home and in good shape to go into the final two races. Finally, congratulations to Lewis for his fourth World Championship, he drove a terrific season and it’s very well deserved.