Lance Stroll: “It is a bit early to say where we are”

Lance Stroll ended ninth fastest on Monday
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Lance Stroll completed forty-six laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as he got Williams Martini Racing’s 2018 testing programme underway on Monday morning, with the Canadian ending up ninth fastest overall.

In a very cold day in Spain, Stroll set a best time of 1:22.452s, which was 2.273 seconds off the pace of Daniel Ricciardo, but with times meaning very little this early on in testing, he was tentatively positive about how the day went.

Stroll handed the reigns of the FW41 over to team-mate Sergey Sirotkin in the afternoon, but he was happy his running was problem-free, with the nineteen-year-old next returning to the car on Wednesday morning.

“So far, so good, which is always a positive thing on the first day,” said Stroll. “It is a new car, which means there are lots of things that have to be done to get on top of it, so it is good we had no problems this morning.

“We have a big programme and we want to get a lot of laps done in order to get us as well prepared as possible for the first race. It is a bit early to say where we are, but it seems to be good so far.”

Stroll admits he is not a fan of the aesthetics of the Halo, but is happy it is on the car as a safety device, and if it can protect a driver from serious injury, it will be doing the job it was designed to do.

“As for the halo, to be honest, I am not a huge fan of the look, however, it is going to help save lives,” said Stroll. “If I am in the car and it is going to help reduce the chances of being injured I will definitely take that device and that is what the halo is doing.

“I am complaining about the looks, but at the same time I understand that the safety is important.”

Stroll, who is heading into his sophomore campaign in Formula 1 in 2018, is looking forward to the year ahead, particularly as he now has knowledge of all of the circuits on the calendar.

“It is different for me here at this test as I have a year under my belt now,” added Stroll. “I am really looking forward to going into my second season of Formula 1 and having been to every track once, it is certainly different to where I was this time last year.”