Lance Stroll: “I didn’t expect that coming into today”


Lance Stroll will start on the front row for the first time in his F1 career on Sunday in Italy - Credit: Andrew Hone/Williams

Lance Stroll will become the youngest driver to start on the front row of a Grand Prix, with the Williams Martini Racing driver enjoying a strong qualifying in extremely wet conditions at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Saturday.

The Canadian finished an excellent fourth fastest in his first true fully-wet session in Formula 1, with the teenager showing some great speed and performance throughout in Italy, and with grid penalties to both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo ahead of him, he moves up to second place alongside Lewis Hamilton.

It is by far Stroll’s best qualifying performance of the season, and after tricky weekends recently in the Hungarian and Belgian Grand Prix, he is far happier with the competitiveness of his FW40 in Italy.

“It feels great,” said Stroll. “I didn’t expect that coming into today, but racing is full of surprises and you never know what will happen.

“They were difficult conditions out there, but we really handled it well as a team and pulled it off. I felt confident, felt good with the car and put it all together.

“Tomorrow is the race and that is where it counts, and I am just going to run my race like I always do. I am starting from a bit of a different position, but anything can happen and we have just got to be on top of our game tomorrow.

“The car just seems more competitive this weekend. I know the conditions weren’t really normal. We expected coming into this weekend with more straights and less high-speed corners we would be a bit more competitive and it just seems to be that way.”