This week there’s been some rumors that are pointing towards a possibility that Sebastian Vettel will switch to the Aston Martin Racing team. This would mean that one of the current drivers needs to go, as there are only two seats per team. It seems most likely that Sergio Perez will lose his seat, as the father of Lance Stroll owns part of the Aston Martin Racing team. The past couple of years many people, myself included, have talked about the (lack of) talent Lance Stroll has. But let’s take a look at the facts. Is Lance Stroll just a paid driver or is he a talented driver?
The beginning of his career
Lance Stroll started his career in karting when he was eight years old. He has won the Canadian Championship in 2008 and 2010. He didn’t win the 2009 championship, but he did get elected as Driver of the Year. After this, he joined the Ferrari Academy and went on to the 2014 Italian F4 Championship. Even though he couldn’t compete in the final race due to an injury, Lance Stroll did end up as a series champion. He started from pole position five times, won seven races and he ended up on the podium thirteen times.
In 2015 Lance Stroll won the New Zealand Toyota Racing Series with four wins out of 16 race starts. During the same season, he contested in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship for the Prema Powerteam, which was partially owned by his father. And yes, he has been driving in a lot of teams that are (partially) owned by his father. Lance Stroll has definitely had some help with his career as a drive, but in the end, he was the one driving his car. He ended his Formula 3 season in fifth place. This means he ended that season above George Russell and Alexander Albon. He also ended one place below Charles Leclerc and three places below Antonio Giovinazzi. This same season an announcement was made that Lance Stroll would leave the Ferrari Driver Academy and would start as a test driver for Williams, with the help of some cash from his dad.
In 2016 he competed in the 24 hours of Daytona with a Ford EcoBoost Prototype. He came in fifth during that race. He also competed in the Formula 3 series again claiming the season championship.
Lance Stroll in the Formula 1
Lance Stroll joined Williams for the 2017 Formula One season. We can say a lot about that, but he was driving a terrible car and had a lot of retirements that seasons. However, he was able to get points with a 9th place in Montreal and a podium finish in Azerbaijan. That makes him is the youngest rookie and the second-youngest driver ever to finish on the podium. He also got the title youngest Formula One driver to start from the front row during the Italian Grand Prix.
The 2018 season was even worse for Lance Stroll. This time because of multiple mistakes he made himself. While the Williams FW41 was a very slow car he was still able to get points at Monza that year.
In 2019 his father decided to invest money in Racing Point. This meant Lance Stroll moved up to Racing Point, kicking out the talented and Mercedes backed Esteban Ocon. Lance was able to get his first points during his opening race in Australia finishing 9th. He also earned a couple of points during the Chinese and Canadian Grand Prix.
During the German Grand Prix that season Lance Stroll was able to end in the 4th position. Giving him the highest ending that season. He ended the season with 21 points on the 15th place, below his teammate Sergio Perez who had 52 points.
So what is the conclusion?
I don’t think we give him the credits he deserves by calling him untalented or just a paid driver. He has the data to show that he is a talented driver, however, during some of the seasons he was competing in a terrible car. When we just look at the facts we see that:
- He’s won the Formula 3 series. Max Verstappen never won that championship and yet we call Max a talented driver;
- He has been on the Formula One podium, something a lot of drivers have never achieved. And he did it with a terrible car. (Sorry Williams…)
- He usually ends at the same or a higher position than he qualifies for.
So we can conclude that Lance Stroll has the raw talent, but currently doesn’t have the car to show us what he’s got. Maybe he can really show what he has got with the 2020 car. I’m not saying he would ever be World Champion, however, he has got the talent. And we don’t know when Lance Stroll Sr. will buy Mercedes, giving his son a car that could win the World Title.
What do you think?
What do you think about Lance Stroll? Let us know in the comments.