Maiden Formula 3 podium for ‘calmer’ Stroll in Austria

Lance Stroll took his maiden FIA European Formula 3 podium finish at the Red Bull Ring last weekend, and admitted to calming down his driving after a number of high-profile incidents threatened to derail a promising career.

The Canadian Prema Powerteam driver, who is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, clashed with Jagonya Ayam with Carlin’s Antonio Giovinazzi at Monza before another clash with team-mate Felix Rosenqvist and Mücke Motorsport’s Mikkel Jensen at Spa-Francorchamps, but has now put all his troubles behind him, and has finished as the top rookie driver in five of the past six races.

“The season started off quite well for a rookie,” said Stroll. “After Pau, starting at Monza, we had a bit of a downhill [run].

“Expectations started to get a bit higher. We saw we could maybe win a race and got a bit excited too quickly.

“Starting in Norisring I think I’ve calmed down a bit. I’ve learned from my mistakes and have come back stronger, getting some rookie wins and to finally capitalise with a podium, it’s a great feeling.”

Prema Powerteam Manager Rene Rosin revealed that the team and Ferrari had a long chat with Stroll to try and calm his driving down, but insisted the potential for good results was always there.

“He’s got a bit of pressure to show what he is capable of,” said Rosin to Autosport. “After the accident at Monza we had a long chat with him, and with Ferrari, saying he just needs to calm down.

“Even at Spa, before the accident, he was showing well. At the Norisring he was consistently in the top five, top six, in Zandvoort too.

“We always saw his potential. He was able to show us at the last few races what he is really capable of doing.”