Lance Stroll says the Williams Martini Racing team ‘would have signed up for P14′ in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix following their pre-season testing woes, when the team failed to show much in the way of competitiveness across any of the eight days at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Williams’ three drivers – Sergey Sirotkin, Robert Kubica and Stroll – finished pre-season testing sixteenth well down the pecking order, with all three failing to get within two seconds of the best time of the the test from Sebastian Vettel. This put the team on the back foot coming into the first race of the season, and coupled with the relative inexperience of the race drivers – Stroll is starting his second season and Sirotkin his first – they had low expectations heading into Qualifying.
Stroll, reflecting on his performance in the two qualifying sessions he participated in, feels there was ‘probably’ more pace to be found in the car, although he admits the team are not too confident of a points finish.
“We would have signed up for P14 coming into the weekend after Barcelona,” said Stroll. “It was not ideal, as we could have improved on the lap in our second run in Q2. However, I got held up a little bit in the last sector and I didn’t have the tyres in the window, as the fronts were cold and that kind of cost me.
“I felt good in the car and there was probably a little bit more in it. We are kind of in the mix for the points, depending on what happens. We will see where we end up tomorrow.“