Lance Stroll has said he will not predict the outcome of his highly anticipated debut race in Formula One at the Australian Grand Prix later this month, but he does feel that he gained a lot from testing despite the first week being plagued by a number of incidents.
The Canadian has found himself under scrutiny following his turbulent start to testing, the worst of which resulted in the loss of a day out on track. However his fortunes turned for the second part of pre-season testing, and completed 386 laps in total.
Stroll has spoken of how he was on a “killer lap” before making a costly mistake at Turn 13. But had that not been the case, he is sure he would have finished within a tenth of Williams Martini Racing team-mate Felipe Massa on the Ultra Soft tyres, a 1:19.5.
“I was actually on a killer lap and I went long in Turn 13, which cost me like everything,” he said. “I lost my lap so… I was like eight tenths up, looking like a good lap but anyways it’s testing, you go for that extra bit.
“It was a good day, it was a fun day. I got to put on the ultra-softs and feel the grip and it’s awesome. Good running this afternoon doing some long runs, all important stuff.”
Stroll is fully aware that Melbourne will prove challenging, after all it is a road circuit that changes throughout the weekend’s running. But he plans on taking it one lap at a time, pushing as hard as he feels comfortable with.
“I think we have still got to just stay calm and I don’t think we really need to set an objective, as in numbers and stuff, we just need to do our work and see where we are,” he added.
“Obviously it’s going to be a new track for me, it’s a different track, it’s not like a normal race weekend, the track changes a lot throughout the weekend, it’s a road course.
“So there’s a lot to learn over there but I’m just going to take it step-by-step and run-by-run and push as hard as I can.”